FINAL – Kings 4, Canadiens 0 – Byfield, Kopitar, Talbot, McLellan

The LA Kings won their 11th consecutive road game tonight, establishing a new, NHL record, with a 4-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens at the Centre Bell.

The Kings opened the scoring this evening through defenseman Drew Doughty, who buried his sixth goal of the season midway through the first period. Attacking on a 2-on-1 rush, Doughty kept the puck himself, using forward Adrian Kempe as a decoy, before he slid his shot off a Montreal defenseman and in for his seventh goal of the season. Doughty’s goal was his seventh of the season, tying him for the second-most in the NHL amongst defensemen.

With just over two minutes remaining in the opening period, the Kings doubled their advantage. Forward Quinton Byfield took an outlet pass from Kempe, kept it himself down the right wing and drove the net with authority, with a backhand-to-forehand deke, for the 2-0 lead. Byfield’s tally extended his career high to seven goals, with forward Anze Kopitar collecting the secondary assist, his second of the night, for a multi-point game.

Byfield made it a multi-goal night, his second in three games, to push the Kings’ advantage to three goals at the second intermission. With LA skating on the power play, Kopitar hit Byfield with a cross-crease pass, with Byfield slamming it home at the back post for his second goal of the game, his eighth tally of the season. Both players picked up their third points of the evening on the play.

With a breakaway goal, forward Trevor Moore extended his team’s lead to four goals with his team-leading 13th goal of the season. Moore took a feed from linemate Kevin Fiala, moved in on a breakaway and snapped home his shot on the glove side for the insurance goal that sealed the deal.

With Moore’s goal, and Kopitar’s collection of assists, both players extended their road point streaks to 11 games.

Hear from Byfield, Kopitar, goaltender Cam Talbot and Head Coach Todd McLellan following tonight’s victory.

Quinton Byfield
On becoming the first team in NHL history to win its first 11 games on the road
It’s really cool. A record that’s gone around for that long and to be able to break it with this group of guys in there it’s pretty special. It’s something that we cherish, being road warriors. Everyone’s playing unbelievable, shoutout to Talbs as well, it was another great game for us.

On what he’s seen from Cam Talbot
Just having a guy back there that you know if going to make a lot of saves, incredible saves, it’s something that you really need as a team and he’s been producing. He’s been playing really well. It makes it easier for us to make plays offensively, you know you’ve got a guy like that back there and also Copper too, he’s playing unreal too. Everyone is just rolling and we’ve got to keep it going.

On his first goal tonight and how he saw that play develop
Yeah, it’s something that me and Juice talk about, whenever we get a 2-on-2, we want to criss cross and just build speed, hopefully kick it to the outside guy. That’s kind of what we talked about and it happened pretty good. He made a nice pass to me on the backhand, I saw I kind of had the d-man beat, I had a step on him, and I just wanted to take it hard to the net and finish.

Anze Kopitar
On seeing the confidence from Quinton Byfield, especially on that first goal
He’s feeling really good right now. He’s been playing great all year and I’m obviously very happy to see him getting rewarded and just getting his confidence up. The way he’s playing, he’s playing big minutes and sometimes we get into some penalty trouble, he’s sitting on the bench yet he’s still engaged and it’s great to see. That’s definitely a sign of maturing and things to come.

On what winning 11 straight games on the road represents for this group
You’re trying to come to the rink and win a game and it’s been going well, so we’re going to keep on trying to ride the wave, but it’s one game at a time. It’s really not looking ahead, it’s step-by-step and build on our game.

On finding a way to win tonight without their best game
Yeah, the game itself was kind of choppy, they have a very skilled, crafty team, so they came out in the first couple of minutes, Cam made the saves and then we were able to get a couple goals and just kind of settle down after that. Penalty kill, obviously it was good today and I guess to put the cherry on top of we scored a power-play goal. So, it seemed like everything was going the right way, but like you said, not A+ by any means, but sometimes you’ve got to win without your best game.

Cam Talbot
On seeing the group find another way to get a win tonight
Yeah, sometimes you’re not going to have your best game and you’ve got to find a way to battle through that and come up with a win. This isn’t an easy building to play in, they’ve got a ton of skill, so it took a lot of efforts to shut them down tonight. Like [Kopitar] said, it wasn’t our best but it was good enough tonight.

On his 30th career shutout and the Kings winning 11 straight games on the road
You know, the team one, it’s just been so much fun to be on the road with these guys, it’s a pretty special group, so I’m happy to be part of that record for sure. Obviously not something you come to the season looking to accomplish, but it’s fun nonetheless. The shutouts, I always say it’s a team stat. The goalies get the credit for it but the guys in front of me played unbelievable again tonight and like I said, credit the PK, a ton of blocked shots guys were laying out the end of the game, in that third periods there. Dewy took a good one right off the foot there to preserve it too, so little plays like that go a long way in preserving a shutout, so it’s not just a goalie stat.

On his strong numbers to open the season
I think goals against is a team stat and when you’re limiting chances, it makes my job a lot easier. You’re going to have to come up with some big saves throughout a game no matter what, but we do a heck of a job of limiting those chances, keeping them to the outside and if I do leave a rebound, they do such a good job of sweeping the crease and getting those second chances out of there for me. So, again, it’s a team stat.

Todd McLellan

Notes –
– Drew Doughty (1-1=2) scored his seventh goal of the season to extend his goal streak to three games (3-1=4), tied for the longest such streak in his career previously set twice (3-2=5 from Mar. 20-26, 2023) and (3-0=3 from Apr. 6-9, 2013).
– Quinton Byfield (2-1=3) registered his second multi-goal (2-0=2 on Dec. 3 vs. COL) and three-point outing (0-3=3 on Nov. 4 at PHI) of the season and increased his season point total to 21 (8-13=21) to become one of three skaters from the 2020 NHL Draft to reach the 20-point mark this season: Tim Stützle (5-19=24) and Lucas Raymond (8-12=20).
– Trevor Moore (1-0=1) collected his team-leading 13th goal of the season, extending his season-opening road point streak to 11 games (8-8=16).
– Anze Kopitar (0-3=3) notched three assists for his 28th career three-assist performance. Two of his three helpers came in the first period, marking his 138th career multi-point period, surpassing Dave Taylor (137) for fourth-most in Kings history. Only Marcel Dionne (218), Wayne Gretzky (177) and Luc Robitaille (175) have more.
– Kopitar also extended his season-opening road point streak (6-9=15) to 11 games, the longest such run by a Kings player since Wayne Gretzky in 1990-91 (16 GP, 6-21=27).
– With their performances tonight, Anze Kopitar and Trevor Moore became the second pair of teammates in NHL history to each have an 11-game season-opening road point streak, behind only Wayne Gretzky and Jari Kurri (12 GP in 1984-85 w/ EDM).
– Kevin Fiala (0-2=2) netted his 16th and 17th helpers this season as part of his sixth multi-point performance this campaign.
– Cam Talbot stopped all 24 shots faced to earn his second shutout of the season and improve his record to 12-4-1. He also improved his road record to 9-0-0, tying the NHL record for longest season-opening road win streak by a goaltender, a distinction he shares with Chicago’s Glenn Hall (9-0-0 in 1965-66).
– The team put 42 shots on goal, the most in a single game this season.
With the win, the Kings established a new NHL record for the longest season-opening road winning streak (11-0-0), besting the 2006-07 Buffalo Sabres (10-0-0).

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