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Toffoli, Quick lead Kings past Hurricanes

by Curtis Zupke

LOS ANGELES -- Tyler Toffoli is all the offense the surging Los Angeles Kings need these days.

Toffoli extended his scoring streak to four games with two goals, goalie Jonathan Quick made 40 saves, and the Kings defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0 at Staples Center on Friday for their fourth consecutive win.

Toffoli has scored six of the Kings' 13 goals this season. His four-game streak is an NHL career high and has helped Los Angeles (4-3-0) rebound after an 0-3-0 start.

Toffoli actually graded himself poorly but acknowledged the puck is finding him.

"I try to find the open ice and try and have a step and an idea of where it's going to go," Toffoli said. "I think right now it's working well for me, and I've got to keep going and keep working hard."

Quick earned his 38th NHL shutout. He has allowed four goals in his past four games.

Toffoli's first goal came on the power play midway through in the first period. He had time to settle the puck and line up a close-range slap shot that beat Cam Ward at 11:06. Christian Ehrhoff set it up with a fake-shot pass to Toffoli on the right side.

Toffoli's second goal came on a 2-on-1 with Milan Lucic with 2:58 remaining in the third period. Kings coach Darryl Sutter sees Toffoli's success as an extension of "That '70s Line" from last season.

"Last year at this time I think [Jeff] Carter and [Tanner] Pearson and Toffoli were carrying the offensive part of our team, so it's probably just building off last year," Sutter said. "He's strong and he feels good."

Toffoli had a good start last season before he got mononucleosis; he had a simple solution for getting back to the pre-illness form.

"Try not to get mono again," he said.

In between Toffoli's goals, Anze Kopitar made it 2-0 with a backhand past an outstretched Ward at 8:04 of the third. Hurricanes defenseman Ron Hainsey inadvertently made a hand pass up the ice that went directly to Kopitar.

"I was going to win that faceoff clean but I hit the ref right in the ankle," Kopitar said. "So I was still a little bit upset about that but that went away pretty quick."

Carolina (2-5-0) lost even though it outshot the Kings 40-28 and won 41 of 66 faceoffs. The Hurricanes could not score on four power plays, and Quick bested Ward in a matchup of two Conn Smythe Trophy winners; Quick won the award in 2012, six years after Ward.

"We definitely did some good things," Carolina coach Bill Peters said. "We had a good push in the middle part of the game, but got behind the eight-ball after their first power play opportunity, and a couple of breakdowns in the third.

"We need to get some of our higher-end skill guys involved offensively. In order to do that you have to get in the dirty areas to score."

Carolina had two solid chances in the first period, but Jordan Staal was stopped on a partial breakaway and Brock McGinn hit the post. Quick got his left pad out to stop Ryan Murphy's shot along the ice in the second period.

The Hurricanes play at the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.

"It's a new game, new day," Carolina forward Nathan Gerbe said. "It's the same type of effort in terms of getting pucks deep, using our speed and getting on the forecheck. We did those things well tonight, but we have to score goals. We can't leave it up to our goalie every night."

Carolina center Andrej Nestrasil left the game early in the second when he was struck on the left knee by a shot by Ehrhoff.

Before the game, the Kings placed defenseman Matt Greene on injured reserve with an upper-body injury, retroactive to Oct. 13.

The Hurricanes have lost five straight at Staples Center and have not won here since Dec. 8, 2005. They are 2-2-0 on a seven-game trip.

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