LOS ANGELES — Home has been anything but sweet for the Kings lately as they hit their seven-game midpoint at Staples Center with a 0-3-1 record after falling to the Toronto Maple Leafs, 6-2, Wednesday night. passed. ,
The Kings are now unable to win their last five matches, while Toronto have won 12 of their last 14.
Winger Viktor Arvidsson had a goal and an assist for the Kings, as did defenseman Sean Durzy in his NHL debut. Jonathan Quick scored six goals in 38 shots. Quick was quick in his last six starts as the Kings beat the Leafs 5-1 in Toronto on November 8, but both trends reversed on Wednesday despite some spectacular saves.
Kings coach Todd McClellan said, “One team skated as if they were smooth and fast over the ice, and the other team slipped through the mud, if you will.” “We were slow. Our execution was poor when we were quick to make decisions. We were not together and it was not a good night against a real good hockey team.”
Forward Alex Kerfoot, winger Michael Bunting and winger Pierre Angval scored for Toronto, as did John Tavares, Auston Mathews and Jason Spaza. Tavares, Mathews and Angwal added one assist each. Former Kings winger Wayne Simmonds and defenseman TJ Brody made two assists each, while defenseman Rasmus Sandin made three career assists.
Former Kings goalkeeper Jack Campbell intercepted 30 shots in his last 11 decisions to secure his ninth win, and he allowed two goals or fewer in 10 of those 11.
The third period was largely academic, but the Leafs quickly worked on the second goal for good measure. Quick saved an athletic, lunging stick on Sandin, but Bunting made a sweep attempt that went off the skate of King’s center Philippe Danault.
Durji would add a power-play goal, his first career goal, with 3:53 to play. A shot from his rising wrist from the middle of the circles went inside, but he let his family celebrate in the stands. Durji grew up near Toronto in Mississauga, Ontario, and was groomed by the Maple Leafs.
“It was good. Obviously, you know, it was garbage time in a hockey game but it was nice to get it out of the way. I thought there was a lot to clean up, but it was a really good feeling,” Durji said. he said.
For the kings, the second period began auspiciously but quickly settled.
On a night when four former kings were skating for the opposition, it was the newest king who scored 81 seconds in the middle period. Extending the power play from the first period, the Kings steered the puck to Durzi, who loaded a shot from right point, which Arvidson deflected to equalise. It was Arvidson’s first goal since October 30 and the Kings’ first power-play goal in five games.
That stalemate proved to be momentary, as Toronto took the lead after less than two minutes. Simmonds fooled defenseman Ollie Matta with a fake shot on the wing, then made a pull-and-drag move to get the puck inside before passing Angwall for a tap-in goal.
Simmonds made a healthy scratch on November 13 against the Buffalo Sabers for the first time in his 14-year career. He has since had three points and a plus-three rating, and has contributed to Toronto’s building momentum.
“We have so much fun working with each other every day. We enjoy each other’s company and right now we’re fighting for everyone in that room,” Simmonds said.
Toronto extended their advantage just 2:07 later, when Tavares hit a shot from winger William Nylander over the right faceoff circle.
The Leafs played effectively from below the goal line at the start of the game and this was where they extended their lead, working behind the net 13:15 with Mathieu and Tavares. Tavares wrapped in the front of the net and punched Mathews, who beat center Ange Kopitar at Golmouth and a backhand flick by Quick.
A mere 2:20 later, Toronto piled on the fifth goal on the power play, winning an offensive-zone draw, and Spezza loaded the puck with aplomb before loading a slapshot into the short side through a Nick Ritchie screen. passed. It was his fourth goal in six shots, effectively sealing the victory before the second half.
“They are a really good transition hockey team, a lot of skill with the pace coming from different areas and it showed,” Durji said.
Toronto had joined the board at 4:30 earlier in the game. Simmonds retrieved a blocked shot in the Toronto zone and ignited a crowd with an alert pass ahead of Ondrej Kasse. Kaas’s pass found Kerfoot, who defended Kopitar as he scored a backhand goal behind Quick.
Five minutes later, Simmonds and Angwal both found opportunities from close range, allowing Quick to refuse to keep the Kings in the game.
The Kings were being out-shot 12-3, but then scored six straight runs, including a pair of dangerous opportunities for forward Lias Anderson. Anderson last played on November 3, returning from injury for Andreas Athanasio, who entered COVID-related protocol on Wednesday.