LOS ANGELES (AP) -Alexander Frolov, Patrick O'Sullivan and Michael Cammalleri had their way with the St. Louis Blues and turned a tight game into a laugher.
Frolov scored three goals, O'Sullivan had a goal and four assists and Cammalleri three assists, leading the Los Angeles Kings to a 5-1 victory on Thursday night. The five points by O'Sullivan were a career high and tied Frolov and Ladislav Nagy for the most by a Kings player this season.
"We played great as a line tonight," Frolov said. "Cammy and Sully are very good players, and when they hold onto the puck and move their feet and make some plays in the offensive zone, things happen for us."
Anze Kopitar broke open a scoreless tie in the second period with a power-play goal, triggering a four-goal barrage that chased former Kings goaltender Manny Legace.
Dan Cloutier made 32 saves in his third start of the season for the Kings while Jason LaBarbera sat out with a groin injury. Cloutier stopped 30 shots before Martin Rucinsky scored on a power play with 4:02 remaining to spoil his bid for his first shutout since March 24, 2004 with Vancouver.
"Shutouts are nice to get, but I wasn't really disappointed," Cloutier said. "They're a hungry team and their power play has been playing a lot better the last couple of games after struggling."
Cloutier missed the final 44 games of last season with a hip injury that required surgery, and began this season with Manchester of the AHL before he was recalled on Feb. 7.
"Obviously I was disappointed, because no athlete likes to go down to that level. But I realized that it was the best thing for me," Cloutier said. "They told me I was going to play every game down there, good or bad, and just build myself back to where I was.
"Then, all of a sudden, I wasn't playing down there. I wasn't even traveling with the team sometimes, so I thought these guys had no plans for me. And when you're 31 years old in the minors and not traveling, it kind of sends you a message. But I just told myself to stay positive and work hard, because you never know what could happen. The next thing you know, I get called up."
Legace, making his 18th consecutive start after consecutive 5-1 wins over Columbus and Chicago, had allowed no more than two goals in any of his previous six games. He came in 10-1 lifetime against the Kings with one tie and a 2.57 goals-against average.
The Kings scored their first two goals on rebounds. Teammate Andy McDonald was serving a holding penalty when Kopitar connected at 6:43 of the second for his 26th goal, tying Dustin Brown for the team lead.
|Manny Legace reacts after giving up one of four goals surrendered in the second period. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
Frolov made it 2-0 at 8:19, stuffing the puck past Legace's glove after Michael Cammalleri's backhanded centering pass grazed defenseman Erik Johnson's stick and was kicked away by the Blues goalie. Frolov scored again about 2 1/2 minutes later on a short backhander from a sharp angle to the left of the net.
Blues coach Andy Murray called a timeout, but it didn't show down the Kings' momentum. O'Sullivan capped the four-goal blitz at 13:23 of the period, playing a carom off the end boards and scoring his 14th goal while Brad Boyes was off for goalie interference.
"We know they've got a great power play and that they've got very skilled offensive players," Murray said. "They've been one of the better teams in the league since January, so we're not surprised. We just expected to be better ourselves. We dominated the first period and didn't bury on our chances, so that was frustrating."
Murray replaced Legace with Chris Beckford-Tseu after O'Sullivan scored on the Kings' 19th shot on net. But Frolov completed his third career hat trick with 16:29 remaining.
Notes: Los Angeles C Derek Armstrong left the game with a knee injury after his second shift. ... Erik Ersberg joined the Kings on an emergency recall from Manchester due to LaBarbera's injury, and served as Cloutier's backup. ... The Blues play down the freeway in Anaheim on Friday night, which will give Paul Kariya a chance to personally congratulate ex-linemate Teemu Selanne for breaking Kariya's record for most career points in Ducks history last Sunday. ... Legace, who began his NHL career with the Kings in 1998-99, won a Stanley Cup with Detroit as their backup in 2002.