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game recap

Kings defeat Maple Leafs to match best start in their history

Score first five goals, including two from Toffoli, hang on for win

by Dan Greenspan / Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Kings jumped all over the Toronto Maple Leafs early but had to hold on late to match the best start in their history.

Tyler Toffoli scored twice, Tanner Pearson had three assists, and Michael Amadio scored his first NHL goal to help Los Angeles to a 5-3 win against the Maple Leafs at Staples Center on Thursday.

Michael Cammalleri had a goal and an assist, and Trevor Lewis scored for the Kings (10-2-1), who equaled the 21 points Los Angeles had through 13 games in 1980-81. Jonathan Quick made 33 saves.


[WATCH: All Maple Leafs vs. Kings highlights]


The Kings took a 5-0 lead when Toffoli scored his second goal of the second period at 16:32.

"I think we came out right away and we played really hard and played fast and played our game," said Los Angeles forward Adrian Kempe, who had an assist.

Auston Matthews scored his 10th goal on his first NHL penalty shot, and Curtis McElhinney made 23 saves for the Maple Leafs (8-6-0), who have lost four of their past five games. Morgan Rielly and Connor Brown each had a goal.

Matthews shot over the net on a second penalty shot with 1:19 remaining after Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin was called for delay of game for intentionally dislodging the net. Matthews is the fourth player in NHL history to attempt two penalty shots in one game.

The Maple Leafs, who were coming off a 3-1 win at the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday, allowed three goals in the first period.

Video: TOR@LAK: Toffoli capitalizes on Kempe's great play

"You just got to be ready," Toronto coach Mike Babcock said. "It's a back-to-back night. We got in early, we ate, we should've been fresh. There should have been no issue, and yet we made those mistakes in the first period."

Defenseman Jake Gardiner lost his footing trying to control a pass in the Maple Leafs zone and turned over the puck to Pearson, who found Amadio for a wrist shot past McElhinney and a 1-0 Kings lead at 2:34.

It was Amadio's first NHL point in his fourth game.

"It was a pretty indescribable feeling, but there was a lot of emotion going through my body," Amadio said. "Great pass by [Pearson]."

Cammalleri put the Kings ahead 2-0 with a power-play goal at 4:58.

Video: TOR@LAK: Matthews scores on penalty shot

Lewis scored his fourth goal with 36 seconds remaining to make it 3-0. The Kings got a sustained push from the line of Lewis, Cammalleri and Nick Shore, who returned after missing three games with an undisclosed injury. Shore eventually found Lewis for a sharp-angled shot that beat McElhinney.

"The play at the end of the period where they cycle, cycle, cycle and end up scoring a goal, those to me are big momentum-builders for you," Kings coach John Stevens said.

Toffoli scored on the power play at 14:31 of the second period to make it 4-0. After scoring 2:01 later, he has five goals in his past four games.  

On his first penalty shot, Matthews beat Quick over his glove with a backhand to cut the Kings lead to 5-1 with 2:10 remaining in the second. Anze Kopitar was called for hooking Matthews on a breakaway.

Rielly scored with 1.5 seconds left in the second to make it 5-2.

Brown redirected Gardiner's shot past Quick eight minutes into the third period on the power play to get the Maple Leafs within 5-3. Stevens challenged that Toronto forward Patrick Marleau interfered with Quick, but the goal was upheld after video review.

Brown has scored a goal in two straight games.

"They had a great start, and turning the puck over like that in the first and second is not going to get it done," Gardiner said.

Video: TOR@LAK: Quick turns away Matthews on penalty shot


Goal of the game

Toffoli's first of the night at 14:31 of the second period.

Video: TOR@LAK: Toffoli finds the net on power play


Saves of the game

Quick stopping Nazem Kadri on a Toronto power play at 9:36 and 9:38 of the first period.

Video: TOR@LAK: Quick shuts down Kadri with pad save


Highlight of the game

McElhinney used his glove to stop Kopitar's shot with 4:57 remaining after a between-the-legs pass by Dustin Brown.

Video: TOR@LAK: McElhinney makes great glove save on Kopitar

They said it

"We've got so much skill up front, so if we can just limit the turnovers we'll be fine." -- Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Gardiner on their recent struggles


"Our record has been pretty good so far, so I don't know if it's specific to the East, but we know we have to play good defense, we can't give up the rush game." -- Kings coach John Stevens on their 9-1-0 record against Eastern Conference teams


Need to know

The three other NHL players with two penalty shots in one game were: Mud Bruneteau (Detroit Red Wings, 1938-39 season); Erik Cole (Carolina Hurricanes, 2005-06); and Max Pacioretty (Montreal Canadiens, 2013-14). ... The Maple Leafs had not scored on a penalty shot since Phil Kessel against the Vancouver Canucks on March 14, 2015. ... Kopitar has one goal and three assists during a four-game point streak. ... The Kings are 6-0-0 when scoring first. ... Toronto outshot Los Angeles 14-7 in the second period and 13-5 in the third.


What's next

Maple Leafs: At the St. Louis Blues on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; CBC, FS-MW, NHL.TV)

Kings: Host the Nashville Predators on Saturday (10:30 p.m. ET; FS-W, FS-TN, NHL.TV)


Video: Toffoli, Pearson lift Kings to big 5-3 win over Leafs

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