FINAL – Kings 0, Maple Leafs 5 – Kopitar, McLellan

The LA Kings skated to a 5-0 defeat on Thursday evening at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, their first shutout loss of the season, falling to 1-1-0 on their current six-game roadtrip.

After a scoreless first period, Toronto broke the game open in the second period with three goals in a span of just 66 seconds, to take a 3-0 advantage early in the middle stanza.

First, on the power play, forward Pierre Engvall snapped a shot inside the far post to open the scoring from the left-hand circle. 26 seconds later, forward David Kampf led a 2-on-1 rush the other way, kept it himself and fired past Kings netminder Jonathan Quick off the rush for a 2-0 advantage. Forward William Nylander buried a breakaway 40 seconds later, deking to the backhand and slotting home for a 3-0 lead.

The Maple Leafs added a fourth goal before the intermission, taking a 4-0 lead through 40 minutes of play. After the Kings were unable to press the puck up the ice, an errant pass went back into the Toronto zone, off the boards and directly to forward Mitchell Marner, who fired a slapshot first time off the crossbar and in. Marner extended his point streak to 21 games with the goal, his 11th of the season.

The Kings appeared to have a goal back, on a five-minute, match penalty assessed to Engvall, but Adrian Kempe’s goal was overturned for offside. Later in the frame, Nylander fed forward Auston Matthews from behind the net, with the Toronto center burying from close range to extend the lead to 5-0, tonight’s final score.

Hear from Anze Kopitar and Head Coach Todd McLellan following tonight’s victory.

Anze Kopitar

Todd McLellan
On if he felt tonight’s struggles were physical, mental or both
This was obviously both. I think you’ve got to have one to have the other and if the mental part isn’t there, there’s no way the physical part is going to be there. It was both. I thought we were light and slow in the first period, we didn’t win any races and when we did even come close to winning any of them we were real light in our sticks and light in our body position, and just kept on going all night.

On if there was any sense of a game like this coming
No, I’m actually quite disappointed because we haven’t used words like light or slow in a long, long time with our team. Yeah, we’ve had some bad nights where we’ve made mistakes, but that was uncharacteristic of ours and it’s a little bit concerning.

On where the breakdowns were in the second period that led to long chances and odd-man rushes
In the first period, because if – and this might not make any sense – but if we’re not doing it in the first period, what are the chances of us finding it in the second? Sometimes you can come out of it, but I think the three goals in a minute and a half or whatever it was sums up the night. We were done after the first two, so it’s disappointing.

On if it’s more difficult to take advantage of a five-minute power play on a night like this
Yes it is. It’s disappointing. Yes it is.

Notes –
– The Kings were shutout tonight for the first time this season. The shutout was the first overall since Game 7 of last season’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, the first time in the regular season since March 15, 2022 vs. Colorado and the first time on the road in the regular season since March 12 in San Jose.
– Phillip Danault appeared in his 500th career NHL game, becoming the 27th player from the 2011 NHL Draft class and 12th active skater from the province of Quebec to reach such mark.
– Goaltender Jonathan Quick made 36 saves in defeat, tying his second-highest total of the season.
– Forward Blake Lizotte took the first fighting major of his professional career this evening.
– Forward Arthur Kaliyev had a team-leading six shots on goal.

The Kings will not hold a practice tomorrow in Montreal. The team is scheduled to return to the ice for morning skate on Saturday, December 10 at 11:30 AM from Bell Centre.

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