Muzzin, Pearson pace Kings in rout of Blues
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[January 13, 2017]
LOS ANGELES -- When the Los
Angeles Kings are running on all cylinders, they produce
performances that remind the opposition of what it was like to face
them during their championship seasons. With the St. Louis Blues
offering little opposition, the Kings delivered as complete a game
as they have all season.
Jake Muzzin and Tanner Pearson scored two goals each as the Los
Angeles Kings defeated the St. Louis Blues 5-1 on Thursday.
Los Angeles (21-17-4) improved to 2-2-0 on the seven-game homestand,
winning four out of its last six games. Trevor Lewis also scored a
goal and Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown and Marian Gaborik each recorded
two assists. Peter Budaj made 21 saves to win his 19th game of the
season, his highest total since the 2008-'09 season.
St. Louis (21-16-5) dropped its second straight contest and has lost
five of its last seven games.
Paul Stastny scored the lone goal for the Blues and Jake Allen
stopped 12 of 15 shots before being pulled in the second period for
The Kings offense, which has underperformed in the season's first
half, shows signs of revival, scoring 13 goals in their last three
"In the first period, we've had trouble scoring goals since
Christmas. Getting the lead is the biggest difference," said Kings
coach Darryl Sutter. "We scored the first goal, and our power play
and our penalty killing was the difference in the game."
Pearson's 13 goals rank second on the club, and he is on pace for 26
goals, a rate that would eclipse his career high of 15 set last
"I think we got to get rid of the inconsistencies, and if we play
like this every night, we give ourselves a good chance to win,"
The mistake-prone Blues never challenged the Kings throughout and
more results like tonight's could jeopardize their playoff chances.
Coach Ken Hitchcock was highly critical of Allen's play in net.
"It seems like right now we're at a stage where every mistake goes
in our net," said coach Ken Hitchcock. "This is on the athlete.
There's times in your young career where you've just said you've had
Allen was pulled for the second consecutive game but his teammates
acknowledged their play in front of him was a major factor in the
"We can't not fight for each other when we get down a couple of
goals," said Stastny. "We seem to do that lately and it's not
The Kings took a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal by Muzzin at 3:18 of
the first period. Muzzin took a behind-the-back feed from Drew
Doughty and fired a slap shot past Allen.
Los Angeles extended the lead to 2-0 on Lewis' sixth goal of the
season 18:12 of the first period. Lewis flipped a soft shot from the
left-wing boards that Allen was unable to glove.
[to top of second column]
Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin (6) acknowledges the crowd after being
selected as the first star of the night during a NHL hockey game
against the St. Louis Blues at Staples Center. The Kings defeated
the Blues 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The Kings built a 4-0 lead on two goals within a space of 51 seconds
of the second period. Muzzin registered his second goal of the night
and his third in the last four games off a one-timer at 4:43 that
chased Allen from the St. Louis net. Pearson then followed with a
goal at 5:34 off a feed from Dustin Brown. The assist placed Brown
in 10th place in Kings franchise history in that category.
St. Louis cut the margin to 4-1 on Statsny's 10th goal of the season
at 7:29 of the middle frame. Alexander Steen threw a pass toward the
Los Angeles net that deflected off Statsny's skate and past Budaj.
The goal withstood two video reviews, one for a kicking motion and
an additional one for goaltender interference.
Pearson restored the Kings' four-goal lead at 5-1 with his second
goal of the game and 13th goal of the season at 19:48 of the second
period. Pearson shrugged off Robby Fabbri to tip in Carter's feed
just in front of Hutton.
NOTES: St. Louis scratched RW Dmitri Jaskin and D Brad Hunt. ...
Starting with Thursday, the Blues play 21 of their next 34 games
away from St. Louis. The last time the Blues played at least 25 road
games from Jan. 1 until the end of the regular season was 2001, when
they played 26. ... St. Louis D Alex Pietrangelo appeared in his
500th NHL game. ... Los Angeles did not dress D Matt Greene, D Tom
Gilbert and C Andy Andreoff. ... Since the introduction of
three-on-three overtime at the start of the 2015-16 season, the
Kings hold a league-best 20-4 record in the extra frame. ... Los
Angeles RW Tyler Toffoli missed his 10th consecutive game and
remains on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. Toffoli has
eight goals and 12 assists in 32 games after scoring a career-high
31 goals last season.
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