Following a very late start after a ceremony celebrating Dustin Brown's statue and jersey retirement. The Los Angeles Kings beat the Pittsburg Penguins ___.
A lot of the conversation with Todd McLellan during morning skate focused on coming back from a long break. McLellan's cure for potential sluggishness was simple, "bring it."
And the Kings brought it early. After a full rotation through their lines, Jaret Anderson-Dolan saw an Alex Edler shot deflect off his shin pad and into the net. It was exactly the start Los Angeles needed after the long break.
Following the goal, Pittsburg carried most of the play and looked like the better team. But, a solid period from Pheonix Copley saw the Kings hold onto their one-goal lead.
They held that lead until 17:47 remaining. Kevin Fiala sent a nice feed backdoor for Rasmus Kupari, who was stoned by Casey DeSmith. Kupari picked up his own rebound though and fed Alex Iafallo in front and Iafallo snuck one past DeSmith to give the Kings a 2-0 lead against the run of play.
Heading into the second, it felt like the next goal was absolutely crucial. Two minutes in, it was the Kings who grabbed that goal.
Adrian Kempe received a feed in the left circle and blew a wrist shot over DeSmith's shoulder. This gave the Kings all the momentum and ended DeSmith's night.
Dustin Tokarski didn't have any more luck though, especially against Kempe. Four minutes after giving the Kings a 3-goal lead, Kempe recieved a pass from Anze Kopitar on the rush and beat Tokarski for his second of the night.
The scoring stopped for almost ten minutes. But, at 14:27, Kempe picked up a fortunate bounce off a Penguins defenseman and buried in tight to give the Kings a 5-0 lead and himself a natural hat trick.
The Kings were in complete control heading into the third.
The Penguins ramped up the physicality in the third but didn't threaten the Kings' net too often.
With just under five minutes left, Kempe scored his fourth of the night. He one-timed a Drew Doughty feed on a two-man advantage giving him four goals on the night. This also made him the first Kings player in franchise history to score four straight goals in a game.
It also puts him on pace for a career-high 38 goals.
The Kings are back in action Monday against the Buffalo Sabres.