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Kings rout Lightning for fourth straight win

by Curtis Zupke

LOS ANGELES - Ben Scrivens was practically glued to the bench and Matt Frattin was a non-factor for the Los Angeles Kings as recently as a week ago.

The two players that came over from the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Jonathan Bernier trade this past summer didn't have much impact or necessity on a team with Jonathan Quick and Jeff Carter. But that trade is looking terrific for L.A. now.

Scrivens improved to 4-0-0 with a 1.00 goals-against average since Quick went down with a groin injury and Frattin contributed a goal Tuesday as L.A. rolled to a 5-2 win against the Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay at Staples Center.

Scrivens came into the game off back-to-back shutouts. He saw his scoreless streak end at 191:19 late in the second period, but he stopped 19 shots for the win in his first home start since he arrived in L.A.

Scrivens has downplayed his successful run, and coach Darryl Sutter has gone out of his way not to give Scrivens much credit. But Scrivens said he's grown comfortable being handed the keys with this defense in front of him while Quick out with a groin injury.

"I always try to have a little bit confidence, too," Scrivens said. "You've got to have that self-belief. You got to come out and play well and give the team a chance, especially with Quickie down right now. I needed to come in and give these guys some solid play. That's all they ever ask for. You don't have to steal games or anything. You just need to be solid and give them a chance.

"But it's great playing behind these guys. They clear the front of the net, clear rebounds, let me see shots. It's a lot of fun play behind them."

Frattin scored his second goal of the season in the first period before the Kings blew it open with goals by Justin Williams, Dwight King and Dustin Brown in the second to improve to 4-0-0 without Quick and Carter, who's out with a broken foot.

Tampa Bay, which was 7-0-0 against Western Conference opponents before it began this trip, has been outscored 11-5 by the Kings and Phoenix Coyotes. The loss dampened the 1,000th NHL game of Martin St. Louis, who took a nasty high stick from Jake Muzzin late in the second period.

The Lightning has lost consecutive games for the first time this season and must go to San Jose on Saturday. St. Louis and coach Jon Cooper said the effort was there and the feeling in the dressing room was that the score wasn't indicative of their play.

"It's not a panic time," St. Louis said. "It's just correcting the mistakes … we got to stop this. We don't want it to turn into a two-gamer into a four-five gamer. Be honest and assess your game. Be honest in how you're playing … we all got to do more."

Scrivens came within 12 minutes of breaking Quick's franchise shutout streak of 202:11. He had no chance on a power-play goal by Valtteri Filppula at 16:17 of the second period, and Victor Hedman's goal 1:22 into the third period deflected off L.A. defenseman Alec Martinez.

Frattin was thought to be the possible solution at left wing for the Kings but the experiment didn't last long before he was put back on the right side and moved down to the third and fourth lines.

His first goal since Oct. 24, a tip of Slava Voynov's power-play shot at 16:49 that Lightning goalie Ben Bishop had little chance on, made it 2-0. It was just the fourth time this season the Lightning trailed after the opening period.

"Fratty's my boy," Scrivens said. "I'm always happy when he can go to the front of the net, go to the dirty areas and hack and whack and get one to go in off him. He got an apple out there, too. It's great to get rewarded like that for him. Hopefully that ignites him and he can catch fire for us."

Bishop, the NHL's co-leader in wins (13), allowed five goals on the first 21 shots as L.A. outshot Tampa Bay 11-2 in the second.

Tampa Bay trailed 3-0 after Williams' fluke goal off Alex Killorn's leg early in the second period but got a chance to get back into the game when Muzzin was sent to the box for four minutes for his hit on St. Louis. The Lightning got a goal from Filppula during the second half of the double minor, but that came after King's shorthanded goal at 15:08 made it 4-0.

Bishop was pressured and rimmed the puck around but L.A. intercepted it and Linden Vey fed King, who slipped it between Bishop's legs for his second shorthanded goal of the season.

"I was trying to make sure I can play it while it was in the trapezoid and I kind of had my back on the guy coming in, and I either have to the right or the left," Bishop said. "I'm not going to just eat it. I went on my forehand, and nobody went over there.

"We get a big kill there and then we let them right back in with a shorthanded goal, which is unacceptable. We've got to play better. We can't expect to win games if we're not playing our best teams like this."

Brown broke out of his slump 58 seconds later with his with his second goal in 18 games for a 5-1 lead. Linemate Anze Kopitar continued his uptick when he beat Bishop cleanly from the right circle to finish a great breakout to open the scoring at 14:58 of the first period. He has 10 points in the last nine games.

"I can't sit here and say our guys didn't try, because we tried," Cooper said. "We've just hit a little bit of a rut, where our goalie was making saves and we were tipping pucks in and the pucks were going in for us, they're not going in for us anymore. Everything evens itself out, and I look to seek work ethic. They tried, and they did a lot of good things out there tonight. We just didn't get any bounces, and it's kind of been going like that for the last couple of games."

Defenseman Dmitry Korobov made his NHL debut for the Lightning and was paired with Sami Salo.

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