LOS ANGELES –
Returning home for one game before venturing back out on the road for two, the Kings won their fourth-straight game, beating the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0 Friday night at STAPLES Center.
Jonathan Quick returned to the Kings’ net, where he was perfect, pitching a 40-save shutout to earn his third win of the campaign.
It’s no secret Tyler Toffoli has had a hot start to the season, and it continued Friday night, the young offensively gifted forward netting a pair of goals to lead the Kings to victory.
“He was early last year, too,” Darryl Sutter said of Toffoli’s scoring. “Last year at this time, Carter, Pearson, and Toffoli were carrying the offense part of our team so it’s not really new, he’s probably just building on last year. Last year if you remember correctly he went down with mono and he struggled after that. Now he’s healthy and strong and feels good.”
Toffoli got the Kings on the board just after the midway mark of the first, while the Kings were working on their first power play of the evening. Christian Ehrhoff recovered a loose puck that caromed to the top of Carolina’s zone, and instead of firing a shot on net, his patience found Toffoli open atop the right circle. Upon receiving Ehrhoff’s pass, Toffoli stepped into a shot, beating Cam Ward low to the blocker-side.
For the second consecutive game, the Kings took a lead into the first intermission after being outshot. Neither team would find the net in the second; Carolina took a 28-18 advantage in shots into the third period.
With just under 12 minutes to play in regulation, Anze Kopitar provided insurance, scoring his second goal of the season to give the Kings a 2-0 lead. Upon losing a faceoff in Carolina’s zone, Hurricanes defenseman Ron Hainsey tried to clear the puck from deep in the zone to one of his teammates. The puck, though, landed right on the stick of Kopitar, who walked in on Cam Ward, deking the goalie out of position and beating him with a backhand shot.
Late in regulation, with the Hurricanes playing aggressively in the Kings’ zone, Milan Lucic
and Tyler Toffoli
sped away on a two-on-one sequence to connect for the third goal of the evening.
After driving the puck wide, Lucic found a lane to provide Toffoli, who was driving to the back-door, a pass. Toffoli, all alone, hammered Lucic’s feed past Ward for his second goal of the evening, giving the Kings a 3-0 lead.
Toffoli now has six goals on the season, and is tied with four other players in the NHL for the lead in that department. Toffoli has scored a goal in four-straight games, which is a personal career best.
Milan Lucic (2A) and Tyler Toffoli (2G) led all Kings players in points scored (2), four players in shots taken (3), Alec Martinez in hits delivered (5), three players in shots blocked (2), and Drew Doughty in minutes played (24:29). Jonathan Quick made 40 saves in the win.
The Kings will now head out on a two-game road trip, which begins Sunday night when they take on the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place, with the puck scheduled to drop just after 6:30PM PST.