LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sean Walker and Mikey Anderson scored, Jonathan Quick made 21 saves and the Los Angeles Kings defeated the Anaheim Ducks 4-1 on Monday night.
Dustin Brown and Trevor Moore added empty-net goals for the Kings, who are six points behind St. Louis in the race for the final playoff spot in the West Division.
“Our D is our key for us all over the ice, and when they score, that puts a little pressure on the forwards as well and we got to be on our toes and be in front of net so they can shoot it more,” Kings forward Adrian Kempe said. “It was nice to see them score tonight and nice to get the ‘W’ as well.”
Jamie Drysdale scored for the Ducks, who have five goals during a five-game losing streak. Anthony Stolarz made 21 saves.
“It’s basically a one-goal game, but that’s a number of games in a row where we’ve only scored one goal. We’ve got to find a way to put that puck in the net,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said.
After a frustrating 4-0 loss to Arizona on Saturday, the Kings rediscovered their offense by scoring multiple goals in the first period for the first time in 12 games. Walker put them in front 1-0 5:19 into the game with a shot from the blue line through traffic.
“The really good teams in the league right now are getting a lot of production from the blue line, and sometimes I don’t think our D are aggressive enough with their shots,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “They’re not always prepared to shoot, and tonight a goal like Walker’s, it’s a seeing-eye one that finds its way to the net and, lo and behold, it goes in.”
Anderson extended the lead to 2-0 at 10:34, beating Stolarz with a backhand from the left hash marks.
Walker and Anderson’s contributions marked the first time this season the Kings got goals from multiple defensemen in the same game.
Brown got his 17th goal at 18:57 of the third to make it 3-1, and Moore scored at 19:29 to finish it off.
Drysdale, Anaheim’s top prospect on defense who was drafted sixth overall in 2020, got the Ducks within 2-1 at 3:03 of the second. He got his third goal on a shot from the high slot with bodies screening Quick’s line of sight.
Anaheim was held to one goal for the third straight game, something defenseman Cam Fowler said his teammates are trying to address.
“We’re trying to be more creative, we’re trying to throw some different looks, and it’s just one of those things that maybe once we see it happen a little bit more, then our guys get a little juice and confidence,” Fowler said. “For guys that are used to scoring collectively, it’s been a challenge.”
Anze Kopitar picked up his 996th career point on an assist, moving closer to joining Marcel Dionne, Luc Robitaille and Dave Taylor as the fourth player to get 1,000 points with the Kings.
Coming off losses to Minnesota and Arizona over the weekend that damaged their playoff hopes, the Kings made several lineup changes. They played with 11 forwards and seven defenseman, with Carl Grundstrom and Matt Luff scratched and Kurtis MacDermid coming in as the extra man on the blue line.
McLellan also changed up his defensive pairings, having 2019 first-round pick Tobias Bjornfot start the game with Drew Doughty.