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Kings Close Gap on Golden Knights With 4-2 Win

The Los Angeles Kings are now just three points behind the Vegas Golden Knights after their 4-2 victory Tuesday night.



The Los Angeles Kings are now just three points behind the Vegas Golden Knights after their 4-2 victory Tuesday night. 

Gabe Vilardi opened the scoring with a one-timer from the slot, his second goal in three games.

The Kings were led offensively by a new look second line featuring Phil Danault between Alex Iafallo and Viktor Arvidsson. Arvidsson and Danault both finished with three points while Iafallo finished with two. That line's three goals all came unanswered as they tied the game midway through the second after Danault potted a backdoor feed from Arvidsson.

Some nice passing set up Iafallo with a chance from the left face-off circle which he finished off 8:36 into the third period, putting the Kings up 3-2. A few minutes later, Pheonix Copley made a huge glove save on a Reilly Smith breakaway to keep the Kings up one. 

Arvidsson then sealed the game late with an empty netter from within his own zone, capping off an excellent night for his line.

Whoever you put with Danault seems to find success.

"We play the right way; whether it's Mooresy (Trevor Moore), Al (Iafallo) or Arvy (Arvidsson) we seem to have the same mentality so it fits right in," said Danault. "Obviously, it was that kind of night where we all get a goal, we played the right way so we all got rewarded." 

It was also Quinton Byfield's first game back with the team. He played just 8:54 but Todd McLellan noted it wasn't an ideal situation for him to jump into. 

"Tough situation to come into," McLellan said of Byfield's game. "Flew back, didn't know he was going to be in the lineup. Joined the group, it may have been a situation where he's slotted more in the three-hole than the four-hole but the way Blake Lizotte has been playing I don't think he should lose minutes or position in the lineup. I thought he had another tremendous game so Q will have to play well and buy his time."

McLellan has mentioned in the past, Byfield needs to take minutes from other players, but what does that look like?

"Right now he's (Byfield) got to come and re-establish his game at the National Hockey League level," said McLellan. "He's got to feel comfortable about the things he does. I saw him forecheck tonight going full speed, that would be one hell of a load to handle if you're a d-man. I saw him make real good defensive plays down low, he won faceoffs, he played with a bit of pace. You know, just get your game going again and we'll grow it from there and we'll begin to slowly pile on the expectations. But, for now, it's just about re-establishing himself here."

Limiting expectations on Byfield given the context of this most recent call-up and his role makes sense, but he'll need to pick up his play and start taking minutes away from those above him soon. 

The King's next game is Thursday against the Colorado Avalanche in Colorado. In what will be another tough game, albeit against another depleted roster.

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