Kings hold off Toronto after taking 5-goal lead early
Tyler Toffoli scored two goals, Michael Amadio got his first NHL goal and the Los Angeles Kings beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-3 on Thursday night for their eighth victory in 10 games.
Amadio, Michael Cammalleri and Trevor Lewis scored during a three-goal first period for the Kings. Jonathan Quick made 33 saves as they pulled even with St. Louis atop the Western Conference standings in their impressive start to the season.
Los Angeles was up 5-0 late in the second period before Auston Matthews scored on his first career penalty shot.
Morgan Rielly and Connor Brown also scored for the Maple Leafs, who have lost four of five. Matthews got a second penalty shot in the final minutes after Los Angeles defenseman Jake Muzzin knocked the net off its moorings, but Matthews missed the net.
Curtis McElhinney stopped 23 shots in just the second appearance of the season by Frederik Andersen’s backup.
The Kings looked sharp as they returned from a six-game road trip to begin 2 1/2 weeks spent entirely in Southern California. Under new coach John Stevens, Los Angeles has improved its offensive play while getting a strong season from a healthy Quick, the 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy winner and two-time Stanley Cup champion.
The Kings are also integrating young talent into their lineup, and the latest contributor is Amadio, a 21-year-old former third-round pick from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. He scored just 2:34 into his fourth NHL game, capitalizing on a Toronto turnover and slipping a shot underneath McElhinney.
Cammalleri doubled the lead 2 1/2 minutes later with a tap-in after good work by Dustin Brown, who scored the 13th point of his revitalized season.
Lewis scored with 36 seconds left in the Kings’ dominant first period, hitting the net on a tight-angled wrist shot after an exceptional cross-ice pass from Nick Shore.
Toffoli got his sixth goal of the season in the second period during a power play, and added another 2:01 later after Adrian Kempe did the hard work of taking the puck to the net under pressure.
Tanner Pearson had three assists for the Kings.
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