Power play, four-goal first propel Kings past Flyers 5-3
By JOE REEDY
LOS ANGELES (AP) Kings coach Todd McLellan devoted a large segment of Monday's practice to Los Angeles' struggling power-play unit. For at least one game, the extra work paid off.
The Kings scored on all three of their opportunities with the man advantage and got off to a quick start in their 5-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night.
"I thought yesterday's practice showed up in the game. They are picking things up and putting it into play the following day," McLellan said.
Los Angeles entered the game next-to-last on the power play with a 12.6% conversion rate and was 1 of 13 over the past five games. It is the first time the Kings have had three power-play goals since March, 26, 2018, against Calgary.
"Overall on the power play we were moving the puck well, showing some different looks than some previous games and it was working," said Anze Kopitar, who had two assists. "We're trying to figure out as we go and it all came together today."
Adrian Kempe had a goal and an assist as the Kings quickly took control with four goals in the first. It is the first time that has happened since Nov. 26, 2014, at Minnesota.
The goals came against a Flyers team that entered the game with the league's sixth-best, penalty-killing unit and had allowed only one power-play goal in its last 13 opportunities.
"A staple of our team so far this year has been our penalty kill and tonight it wasn't very good; that combined with them scoring on our power play took us out of the game early," coach Alain Vigneault said.
It was Kopitar's second straight multi-point game and 10th of the season. His two assists moved him past Luc Robitaille for fourth in franchise history. Kopitar has 598 in 14 seasons.
Thirteen of Los Angeles' 18 skaters ended up having a goal or assist in the game.
"There have been some nights where we have had better starts than tonight and the puck didn't go into the net," McLellan said. "Just the ability to finish and get a few by the goaltender is important."
Justin Braun, Claude Giroux and Scott Laughton scored for Philadelphia. Brian Elliott allowed four goals on 15 shots in the first period before being replaced by Carter Hart at the first intermission. Hart made 13 saves.
After Clifford opened the scoring at 5:31 of the first on a wrist shot., Iafallo redirected Kopitar's pass from the slot 86 seconds later and Toffoli put in a rebound of his own shot at 8:54.
Kempe gave the Kings a 4-0 advantage with 2:08 remaining in the first when he finished off a two-on-one short-handed breakaway with a wrist shot. It was Los Angeles' fourth short-handed goal of the season and the fourth allowed by Philadelphia.
"They were aggressive, they were putting pucks at the net and we couldn't get to the loose pucks and couldn't get the rebounds," Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov said.
Bruan got his first goal of the season when his shot went off the skate of Kings' defenseman Matt Roy and past Quick.
Frk got his third goal in as many games 91 seconds into the third with a wrist shot on the power play. The Flyers closed the gap with a power-play goal by Giroux and a tip-in by Laughton, who returned to the lineup after missing seven games due to a groin injury.
NOTES: The last time the Kings scored four goals in any period was Feb. 5, 2019, at New Jersey. ... Iafallo extended his point streak to a season-best five games. He has two goals and four assists during the span. ... Drew Doughty had an assist and moved to within one point of tying Rob Blake (494) for first among Kings defensemen all-time in points. ... Giroux has a point in four straight games (one goal, three assists).
Flyers: Continue their six-game trip on Thursday at Vegas.
Kings: Host Nashville on Saturday.
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Updated January 1, 2020