Toffoli scores twice, Kings match Blues for 2nd-best in West
ST. LOUIS (AP) As much as Tyler Toffoli downplayed his recent performance, he’s more than happy to be contributing to the streaking Los Angeles Kings.
Toffoli scored twice, backup goaltender Darcy Kuemper made 39 saves and the Kings beat the St. Louis Blues 4-1 on Friday night.
”Honestly, I just kept my speed good on the first goal,” Toffoli said, ”And the other one, (Tanner Pearson) made a good play and I was alone in front. So, to be able to get the two goals, it obviously feels good for myself.”
Toffoli has three goals in the past two games – one an empty-netter – and three two-goal games this year. He has 13 goals total this season.
Los Angeles won its fourth straight, including three in a row on the road. The Kings tied the Blues for the second-best record in the Western Conference with 35 points, one behind Winnipeg.
”Yeah, obviously it’s a cool feeling, but after the start we had we know how quickly things can slip away a little bit,” Toffoli said. ”We’ve just got to stay focused and do the little things and just kind of be consistent with our game.”
The Kings won 11 of their first 15 games, then lost seven of eight before their current winning streak.
The Blues have lost three of four, getting outscored 7-3. They completed their homestand 2-3.
Kuemper, who gets limited action behind star Jonathan Quick, is now 4-0-2.
”I was excited to get the opportunity to play against St. Louis,” Kuemper said. ”You don’t always get those opportunities, so I was excited when I found out about it, and I think our whole team was and really got up for it and wanted to prove something out there.
Adrian Kempe got his ninth goal of the year while the teams were skating 4-on-4 late in the second period to give the Kings a 3-1 lead. He has two goals and an assist in his last three games.
Patrik Berglund scored his first goal since April 6 against Florida. He missed the first 24 games this season while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. He returned Wednesday night.
”They played a better team game tonight and we just weren’t connecting,” Berglund said.
The Kings got an early jump on the Blues with two goals in just over six minutes into the opening period. Toffoli opened the scoring less than two minutes into the game and Anze Kopitar scored his 13th less than five minutes later. Kopitar has three goals and four points in his past three games.
”Down 2-0 there really quickly, that’s obviously a tough start,” Blues goaltender Carter Hutton said. ”That’s kind of the game.”
NOTES: The Kings are 12-0-2 when scoring three or more goals this season. … Los Angeles had what would have been its third goal waved off about seven minutes into the second period. Drew Doughty was ruled to have interfered with Hutton, negating Dustin Brown’s goal. …The Blues pulled Hutton prior to the third period. He allowed three goals on 21 shots. Jake Allen, the usual starter, took over. … The Blues wore light purple warmup sweaters with sparkly lettering in honor of Hockey Fights Cancer night. The lettering was a nod to Arianna Dougan, the 11-year-old girl who Vladimir Tarasenko befriended last season and who spent time with the team on a road trip while fighting cancer. She passed away on Nov. 11. Her family took part in the ceremonial puck drop.
Blues: Travel to Minnesota on Saturday night.
Kings: Conclude four-game trip Sunday night at Chicago.
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