Devils dump Kings, end six-game slide
Kyle Palmieri scored two goals, and Taylor Hall contributed three assists on Thursday as the visiting New Jersey Devils ended a six-game losing streak with a 6-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.
Travis Zajac, Will Butcher, Nico Hischier and Blake Coleman also collected goals for New Jersey. The Devils scored more than three goals for the first time since a 5-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Nov 21 that was their last win before Thursday.
Brendan Leipsic, who was claimed off waivers by the Kings from the Vancouver Canucks on Monday, scored his first goal in two games with his new team. Adrian Kempe and Kyle Clifford also scored for Los Angeles, which fell to an NHL-worst 1-16-1 when allowing the first goal in a game.
Palmieri scored two goals for the first time since he had two in each of the first three games of the season. Hall now has 11 points (three goals, eight assists) over his past seven games, but he remains one goal away from 200 in his NHL career.
Drew Doughty notched an assist on Kempe’s second-period goal, giving him a Kings-record 334 assists for a defenseman, passing Rob Blake on the all-time list. The honour came in Doughty’s 799th career game. Palmieri gave the Devils a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 13:49 of the opening period
with his 13th tally of the year. Less than two minutes later, Leipsic tied the score 1-1 with his third goal of the season.
Zajac gave the Devils a 2-1 lead a mere 25 seconds into the second period. He scored his ninth goal unassisted when Kings goalie Jonathan Quick failed to clear the puck.
After Kempe scored for the Kings at 6:59 of the second period with his fourth, Palmieri gave the Devils a 3-2 lead at 10:57 when he scored from the left circle after drifting left and shooting right, catching Quick off balance. It was Palmieri’s 14th goal of the season. Butcher scored an opportunistic goal at 12:28 of the second period, his second, when his long-distance shot was redirected into the goal by Kings defenseman Dion Phaneuf. Clifford cut the Devils’ lead to 4-3 when he pounced on a poor clearance from Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid for his fifth of the season. Hischier sealed the victory with just under nine minutes remaining when he scored his sixth goal of the season. Coleman added an empty-net goal, his ninth, with eight seconds remaining. Kinkaid made 29 saves as he improved to 4-0-0 lifetime against the Kings. It was just the third road victory of the season for New Jersey, which owns the league’s worst road mark.
Quick also made 29 saves.
BYRON SCORES TWICE, LEADS HABS OVER SENS
Paul Byron scored two goals to lead the visiting Montreal Canadiens to a 5-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday. Byron recorded his second multi-goal game of the season, with the first score coming in the aftermath of an Ottawa turnover 11:03 into the second period. Byron added an emptynet goal to put the game away 17:28 into the third period. Jeff Petry also had a two-point night with a goal and an assist for the Canadiens, while Andrew Shaw scored the 100th goal of his NHL career. Brendan Gallagher also scores for Montreal. Mark Stone and Colin White each recorded a goal and an assist for the Senators, who were undermanned for much of the game due to a pair of key injuries. Matt Duchene didn’t return after sustaining a lower-body injury midway through the second period. Duchene appeared to be favouring his right leg on a non-contact rush down the ice and immediately headed to the locker room after the play ended.
New Jersey Devils right wing Kyle Palmieri (second left) celebrates with defenseman Will Butcher (left) centre Travis Zajac (right) and defenseman Ben Lovejoy his goal scored against the Los Angeles Kings during the first period at Staples Center.