Toffoli scores in overtime to lift Kings past Vegas 4-3
Toffoli scored 1:40 into overtime to lift Los Angeles past the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 on Sunday night, marking the second straight night the Kings won in overtime after beating San Jose on Saturday.
It was Los Angeles’ third straight win overall, while it collected a point for the fifth time in six games. Los Angeles is trying to climb out of last place in the Pacific Division.
After Kings goalie Calvin Petersen made a series of spectacular saves to start overtime, Vegas defenseman Nate Schmidt turned his back on a streaking Toffoli, who caught the Golden Knights on a shift change. He took Oscar Fantenberg’s stretch pass and beat Marc-Andre Fleury on a breakaway with a wrist shot.
“I have no clue what their D-man was doing, but you know what, I’m not mad,” Toffoli said of Schmidt. “I’ve been getting some really good opportunities. Yeah, I wasn’t scoring but I thought my game was really in a good place. To score that, hopefully (we can) go on a little streak here and keep winning games, which is huge for us right now.”
After opening the season 4-8-1, Los Angeles fired coach John Stevens. Under interim coach Willie Desjardins, the Kings are 10-12-2 and eight points back of the second wild-card spot, albeit still in last place in the league with 31 points, tied with Chicago.
The Kings were swept by Vegas in the opening round of last season’s playoffs but are 2-0-0 against the Golden Knights this season.
“They had a tough series here last year in the playoffs and they wanted to find a way to win tonight,” Desjardins said. “Vegas has a good team, they play hard. It was nice for us to find a way to win though.”
It also marked the second consecutive night Vegas fell in overtime after losing at home to Montreal.
Fleury started for the second straight night and made 28 saves, facing 79 shots in the two games. The 15-year veteran, who swung and broke his stick on the side of the goal immediately after Toffoli scored, debunked the notion he may have been fatigued in playing on consecutive nights.
“I felt decent actually, it wasn’t too bad,” Fleury said. “It’s a grind sometimes, but we’ve done it throughout the season, throughout this year, and that’s no reason for losing the game. It’s frustrating. I want to make a difference. I want to make those saves to give our team a chance to win games, and I haven’t.”
Fleury leads all goalies with 34 games played and 2,019 minutes. The next closest goalie is Toronto’s Frederik Andersen, who has been in net 1,779 minutes.
NOTES: The teams will meet twice more in the next nine days, with the Golden Knights visiting Los Angeles on Dec. 29, and the Kings returning to T-Mobile Arena on New Year’s Day. … The Kings played their 2,000th regular season road game. … Kings D Drew Doughty played in his 365th consecutive game, extending his franchise record that began Oct. 8, 2014. … Vegas C Ryan Carpenter was a healthy scratch and remains one shy of playing in his 100th career game. … Los Angeles improved to 3-17-2 when opponents scores first. … After opening the season 0 for 16 on the power play in their first six games, the Golden Knights have scored with an extra man in 23 of their last 33 games (25 for 103, 24.2 percent). … The Kings, who rank last in the NHL with their road power play, have scored with a man advantage in three of their last four games — all on the road.
Kings: Host Arizona on Thursday.
Golden Knights: Host Colorado on Thursday.