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game recap

Kings defeat Blues; Jake Allen pulled again

Jake Muzzin scores twice against St. Louis goalie

by Abbey Mastracco / NHL.com Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- Jake Muzzin and Tanner Pearson each scored twice to help the Los Angeles Kings defeat the St. Louis Blues 5-1 at Staples Center on Thursday.

Trevor Lewis scored for the Kings (21-17-4), who scored at least four goals for the third straight game. Marian Gaborik, Dustin Brown and Jeff Carter each had two assists, and Peter Budaj made 21 saves.

"We are capable of playing that way, we just have to continue to be consistent game to game," Muzzin said. "We were dropping in the standings, it's time to put a roll together here, so it's a good start."

 

WATCH: All Blues vs. Kings highlights

 

Paul Stastny scored for the Blues (21-16-5). Jake Allen made 12 saves before being replaced by Carter Hutton 5:00 into the second period trailing 3-0. It was the second time in as many starts, and the third time in Allen's past five, that he has been taken out of the game. He's 3-7-0 in his past 11 starts. Hutton made 11 saves.

"Obviously you can't let that many goals in, and we've been beating a dead horse (saying) we need better goaltending," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "But it seems like right now we're at a stage where every mistake goes in our net."

Hitchcock made it clear it's up to Allen to break out of his slump.

"This is on the athlete," Hitchcock said. "There's times in your young career where you've just said you've had enough and you've got to go and turn it around the other way. He's in a position where he's the guy that has to really take charge here. He's got to man up and get better, and we've got to get better in front of him."

Video: STL@LAK: Muzzin one-times home his second goal

Muzzin made it 1-0 at 3:18 of the first period with a power-play goal from the top of the left circle. Lewis made it 2-0 at 18:12.

Muzzin increased the lead to 3-0 when he scored at 4:43 of the second period for his first two-goal game of the season and the second of his NHL career.

Pearson made it 4-0 against Hutton 51 seconds later when he drove to the net and tipped in his rebound. Stastny made it 4-1 at 7:29 when a shot by Alexander Steen redirected off his skate. The goal was reviewed twice -- once to determine if the puck was kicked and then when the Kings challenged for goalie interference -- and the call was upheld each time.

Pearson scored his 13th of the season with 12 seconds left in the second period to make it 5-1.

Video: STL@LAK: Pearson knocks puck home for his second goal

 

Goal of the game

Muzzin scored on an early four-minute power play to help accomplish a key goal.

"Our starts lately haven't been the greatest, so we kind of focused on that a little more," Muzzin said. "We've given up a few goals in the first period and we kind of wanted to play with the lead."

Video: STL@LAK: Muzzin nets PPG to give Kings an early lead

 

Saves of the game

With the Blues on the power play in the third period, Budaj made two saves on Colton Parayko. Parayko put a slap shot on net and Budaj made the stop before momentarily losing the puck when David Perron fell on top of him. The puck came back to Parayko, who shot again from the blue line, but Budaj stopped it and covered the puck.

Video: STL@LAK: Budaj denies Parayko on the power play

 

Unsung performance of the game

Brown provided the screen on Muzzin's first goal. Brown parked in front of Allen, and when the goalie looked left around Brown, Muzzin shot right.

 

Highlight of the game

The Kings' second line got the puck through the neutral zone with ease and speed, and Pearson scored on a slap shot off the rush.

Video: STL@LAK: Pearson blasts big shot past Hutton

 

They said it

"First period, we've had trouble scoring goals since Christmas, especially 5-on-5. Getting the lead is the biggest difference. Not sure if it's an improvement, but that's for sure what stood out." -- Kings coach Darryl Sutter

 

"I think the one thing that we have to address from a team-play standpoint is that we need to get way greasier, way dirtier into the garbage areas. That'll help us. We've scored quite a few goals as of late, but when you're playing against a team like L.A. who defends as well as they can defend, they made it hard on us and we didn't get there until the third period." -- Blues coach Ken Hitchcock

 

Need to know

Brown has 265 NHL assists, passing Mike Murphy for 10th on the Kings all-time list. … Gaborik had his first multipoint game of the season. … Muzzin's other two-goal game also was against the Blues (March 5, 2013). … Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo played his 500th NHL game.

 

What's next

Blues: At the San Jose Sharks on Saturday (10:30 p.m. ET; CSN-CA, FS-MW, NHL.TV)

Kings: Host the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; SN, FS-W, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Muzzin, Pearson lead Kings to 5-1 win

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