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Jones, six goal-scorers lift Kings past Canadiens

by Arpon Basu

MONTREAL -- Los Angeles Kings rookie goaltender Martin Jones was very good early. His teammates took care of the rest.

Jones made 31 saves for his second straight shutout in his third NHL start, and the Kings scored four second-period goals to rout the Montreal Canadiens 6-0 Tuesday at Bell Centre.

Jones made seven saves during a Canadiens power play that began 38 seconds into the game and 10 more stops in the first period, giving the Kings a chance to score twice before blowing the game wide open in the second.

"Final scores don't usually tell the whole story," said Kings forward Justin Williams, who completed the scoring with his team-leading 11th goal of the season. "They tell most of the story, but not the whole story. Could that game have been different if they score on one of their three power plays they had in the first period? Yes, absolutely.

"Our goaltender made huge saves which allowed us to come back and take over the game from there. It's his third game, and it seems like it's his 300th."

Jordan Nolan, Anze Kopitar, Alec Martinez, Tyler Toffoli and Jake Muzzin also scored for the Kings, who had their biggest margin of victory of the season. Muzzin's goal with the man advantage snapped a streak of 33 straight unsuccessful Los Angeles power plays dating to Nov. 19.

"It's been a while since we got one," Kopitar said. "We've worked on it a little bit and to finally get one, it's nice. But we can't get satisfied with it, we have to keep on going. We all know how important special teams are, and we've been pretty good on the penalty kill. Now we need to pick it up on the power play."

The Kings have held their opponent to two goals or fewer in 16 straight games; they are 11-1-4 during that stretch. It was the first of a four-game road trip for Los Angeles, which is 10-3-2 away from Staples Center and 10-2-2 against Eastern Conference teams.

The Kings (20-7-4) visit the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday.

The Canadiens (19-10-3) lost in regulation for the first time in 11 games after going 9-0-1 in their previous 10. Their six goals allowed matched a season high.

Canadiens goaltender Carey Price was pulled for the first time this season at 5:28 of the second period after allowing four goals on 16 shots, snapping his streak of 10 straight starts of two goals or fewer. His goals-against average jumped from 1.95 to 2.08 and his save percentage dropped from .938 to .934 in a little more than one period.

"These games are miserable," defenseman Josh Gorges said. "The only thing you can do is get out of this room here, take a look in the mirror, look at yourself and say, 'Did I do what I had to do tonight?' I don't think there's one guy in this room that can say they did.

"So we get back to work tomorrow; we understand that this is how hard it is in this League … and we've got a big weekend of hockey ahead of us. We use this as motivation going forward."

Jones has not allowed a goal in 142:46, dating back to a Corey Perry goal for the Anaheim Ducks at 2:14 of the third period of a 3-2 Kings shootout win Dec. 3, the first start of his NHL career. Jones won that game by stopping every shot in a nine-round shootout, then made 16 saves for the first shutout of his career Saturday against the New York Islanders.

"Maybe I didn't expect that kind of start [to my career], but I don't want to stop here," Jones said. "It's been nice to get wins in different ways. That's a sign of a good team, finding ways to win in different situations."

Jones needed one more save than he had the entire game Saturday to get to the first intermission Tuesday.

After the 23-year-old made two excellent stops on Alex Galchenyuk, seven total while Kings defenseman Drew Doughty was in the penalty box early in the first period, Nolan scored on a rebound of a Willie Mitchell point shot that was tipped in front by Kopitar at 7:03.

"They're a really skilled team and they're going to get chances on the power play," Jones said. "I just wanted to give these guys a chance. After that we played really well."

With 12.3 seconds to go in the first, Mike Richards set up Kopitar for his ninth goal of the season to put the Kings ahead 2-0.

"We had a decent first period; we were imposing the rhythm and had several scoring chances. At 1-0 we were in the game, but for a reason that's tough to explain that second goal broke our rhythm," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. "In that first period, if we had converted on our scoring chances, it would have been a different game. That second goal at the end of the period, an icing and we lose the faceoff and lose our coverage, it was the spark for the Kings. It had the opposite effect on us."

Martinez scored his first goal since Feb. 10, a span of 37 games, on a rebound of a Toffoli shot that was tipped in front by Kyle Clifford at 1:45 of the second, and Toffoli scored his eighth in 17 games this season at 5:28 to chase Price.

The second shot on Peter Budaj extended the lead to 5-0 when Muzzin snapped the Kings' power-play drought at 8:14, and Williams made it 6-0 when Jarret Stoll earned his second assist of the game on a sweet pass in front at 18:28.

A 6-0 win against the NHL's hottest team in one of the more difficult buildings to visit could be seen by some as a statement game, but Williams said the Kings are trying to make a more long-term statement.

"You've got to prove a point for 82 games, and that's what we're trying to do," he said. "If you ask anyone in their dressing room they'd probably say they played one of their worst games of the year, and we, on the contrary, played a much better game."

Williams' goal came on the Kings' 24th shot, allowing Los Angeles to match in less than two periods the six goals the Canadiens had allowed on 92 shots in their three previous games.

"There's nothing positive to take away from this for our team," Therrien said. "When you lose at home in front of your fans the way we did, it hurts."

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