Adrian Kempe, Quinton Byfield lead short-handed Kings over Predators
Adrian Kempe and Quinton Byfield both scored twice, and the short-handed L.A. Kings scored three times in the first 11 minutes to defeat the Nashville Predators 6-1 on Tuesday night.
It was the sixth multigoal game this season for Kempe, who leads the Kings with 28 goals. Byfield, the second pick in the 2020 NHL draft, had the first two-goal game of his career along with an assist. He missed the first half of the season after he broke his left ankle during the preseason, but has four goals and seven points in 25 games.
Trevor Moore had a goal and an assist. Arthur Kaliyev also scored for the Kings, who won for the third time in five games despite missing seven players from their lineup. Jonathan Quick stopped 24 shots.
The Kings scored an even-strength, power-play and short-handed goal during the first period of a game for only the fourth time in 20 years. The last time was Dec. 31, 2019, against Philadelphia.
Philip Tomasino scored for Nashville, which had won two straight and four of five. Roman Josi had the first assist to extend his point streak to 11 games. The defenseman, who has 21 assists during that span, is second in the league with 60 assists and eighth in scoring with 78 points.
David Rittich made 29 saves.
Anze Kopitar forced Nick Cousins to turn over the puck deep in the zone and found a streaking Kempe, who put a wrist shot from the slot past Rittich at 3:26.
Ducks’ general manager Pat Verbeek begun a massive overhaul while the Kings are hoping for a boost from the return of key injured players.
Kaliyev extended the lead three minutes later on the power play when he beat Rittich on his glove side with a top-shelf wrist shot. It was Kaliyev’s 12th of the season and first in 10 games.
The Kings came in a league-worst two for 26 with the man advantage over the past nine games.
Moore made it 3-0 at 10:39 with a short-handed goal. He took a centering pass from Blake Lizotte and converted for his 12th. It was the Kings’ seventh short-handed goal this season, tied for fifth in the NHL.
Tomasino put in Nashville’s lone goal 3:33 into the second on a rebound for his 10th of the season after Quick stopped Josi’s shot.
Byfield took a centering pass from Rasmus Kupari at 5:59 of the third to extend the Kings’ lead to 4-1. Los Angeles then scored twice in 28 seconds on an empty-net goal by Kempe and when Byfield caught Rittich playing out of the net to knock it in at 13:46.
Go beyond the scoreboard
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