Fiala, Kopitar lead Kings' rout of Ducks in first Freeway Faceoff
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Kevin Fiala scored two goals and captain Anze Kopitar had a goal and an assist in the Los Angeles Kings' 5-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Friday in the first Freeway Faceoff of the season.
Fiala and Arthur Kaliyev each scored a power-play goal in the first period for the Kings, who won their fourth straight overall and their ninth consecutive road game to begin the season. That's the second-longest such streak in NHL history, trailing only the Buffalo Sabres' 10 straight wins to start the 2006-07 campaign.
“We all just came out to play,” Byfield said. “We got out to an early lead, and being able to maintain it, that’s what good teams do. ... It’s a lot of fun right now when everything is clicking and working.”
Kopitar’s third-period goal gave him 87 points in 87 career games against the biggest rival of his only NHL club. The Slovenian star joined the Kings in 2006.
Alex Killorn scored his first goal for Anaheim, which has lost five straight after winning eight of its previous 10. Radko Gudas also scored and John Gibson stopped 27 shots, but the Ducks yet again fell behind early by multiple goals, and they couldn't mount one of their signature comebacks.
“They're a handful,” Anaheim coach Greg Cronin said of the Kings after his first experience in the rivalry. “They're a good team. Not to put any pressure on the Kings, but from what I see, they're a Stanley Cup-contending team.”
After a slow start to the season for Fiala, the Swiss left wing has five goals in six games. He put the Kings up midway through the first period with an exceptional sharp-angled shot off a long rebound, and Kaliyev wired a long shot through traffic two minutes later after another Ducks penalty.
“We capitalized on the first two power plays,” Los Angeles coach Todd McLellan said. “We knew they had a tendency to take some penalties, and wanted to be prepared to do that. That was powerful for our group to get rolling there.”
Byfield redirected Vladislav Gavrikov's point shot and sent it bouncing past Gibson for his fourth goal early in the second period, and Fiala followed with his second goal 1:39 later.
Pierre-Luc Dubois nearly made it 5-0 in the second, but Gibson made a jaw-dropping stick save shortly before Gudas got the Ducks' first goal with a long shot from the point.
But Kopitar put the Kings up 5-1 early in the third with his 10th goal on a one-timer off a pass from Adrian Kempe.
Killorn scored on a power play later in the third, getting his first goal for Anaheim after scoring 198 for Tampa Bay over the previous 11 seasons. He started this season late with his new club due to injury, and he had only three assists in his first nine games.
“I've gone through things like that in a season, (but I) typically don't start a season like that, 10 games or nine games without a goal,” Killorn said. “I'm getting my chances, so I've been trying to just stick to the process, and I had another good (bunch of) chances tonight. You do that consistently, you're going to score. It's tough to do at the start of the year when you're really gripping the stick tight, and with a new team.”
Kings: Host Montreal on Saturday.
Ducks: At Edmonton on Sunday.
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