Kings strong start propels them to victory over Devils


After dropping three of their last four games, the Kings needed to get back on track tonight in order to keep pressure on Calgary in the battle for a playoff spot. Los Angeles managed to do just that by earning a 3-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils tonight.

In a perfect example of how much these two squad’s fortunes have deviated since they met in the 2012 Stanley Cup Final, the Kings dominated the Devils in the first period, outshooting New Jersey 16-3.

Kings defenseman Andrej Sekera found the back of the net at 10:44 minutes of the first frame while Tyler Toffoli scored what proved to be the game-winning goal just before the first intermission.

The Devils did better after that point, but it wasn’t enough. They have dropped to 31-31-11 as a result. New Jersey doesn’t have a hope of making the playoffs, but the squad also hasn’t done badly enough to be a major consideration in the McEichel sweepstakes.

Los Angeles is now tied with Calgary in points, but because Calgary still has the edge in ROW, the Flames will at least temporarily remain in possession of the third Pacific Division seed. However, the Flames are playing against Colorado tonight, so if the Avalanche win that game, then the Flames will still fall below Los Angeles based on the fact that they will have played in one more contest than the Kings.

Report: No fine or suspension for Tyler Toffoli’s hit on Alex Burrows


The NHL won’t hand Los Angeles Kings forward Tyler Toffoli a fine or suspension for his hit on Vancouver Canucks winger Alex Burrows, John Hoven reports.

Toffoli received a game misconduct and a five-minute boarding major in Saturday’s loss to the Canucks. Here’s video of that unfortunate hit:

Toffoli, 22, hasn’t been suspended before by the NHL. The Kings (who just recalled Mike Richards) have to breathe a sigh of relief, especially as they approach a five-game road trip, which starts on Monday. Burrows returned to the game, so that definitely seemed to help Toffoli’s cause.

Update: ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun tracks down a vague explanation for the league’s decision.

Report: League to review Toffoli boarding major on Burrows


L.A. Kings forward Tyler Toffoli could be looking at supplemental discipline after he was ejected from Saturday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks for a dangerous hit from behind on Alex Burrows.

Toffoli was assessed a major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct. The Canucks scored on the ensuing five-on-three and went on to a crucial victory over the Kings to maintain their second-place standing in the Pacific Division.

“Yeah, it sucks,” said Toffoli, as per the L.A. Times. “I wish it didn’t happen. I wish we won the game. It feels like it’s on my shoulders right now and it’s not a good feeling.”

“I haven’t seen the replay,” he continued. “I don’t really know what happened. It all happened pretty quickly. I haven’t seen anything yet. I don’t really remember what happened.”

According to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, the league will look into the incident. The NHL Department of Player Safety had yet to announce if there would be a hearing.

From Sportsnet:

“The good news for the Kings player is Burrows returned to the game, which usually calms down any discussion about a suspension,” Friedman said. “The NHL will review this hit, but because it’s a busy day they won’t decide if there’s any kind of hearing until after tonight’s games are over.”

Video: Canucks earn crucial win over Kings in feisty Pacific Division tilt


Not only had the Vancouver Canucks lost three times to the L.A. Kings this season, heading into Saturday’s contest, but two of those three games hadn’t even really been close.

The Kings had dominated, the Canucks had wilted. That changed Saturday in a feisty tilt that had just about everything.

The Canucks finally exorcised their demons against the defending Stanley Cup champions in a crucial 4-1 victory. Vancouver scored four unanswered goals, including a pair of empty netters to clinch the win and two points that keeps them second in the Pacific Division.

The Canucks improve to 86 points, which puts them four ahead of L.A.

Eddie Lack was sensational, especially early in the first period. He made 25 saves, as it was the Canucks who had the large edge in shots on goal, with 42, against the league’s best five-on-five possession team.

The game turned early in the third period. In a tied game and his team already short-handed, Kings forward Tyler Toffoli was given a major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct for hitting Alex Burrows dangerously from behind.

Burrows was injured, but did return to the game late in the third period.

On the ensuing five-on-three power play, the Canucks scored on Radim Vrbata’s 27th goal of the season.

In another physical game, the Canucks managed to get to goalie Jonathan Quick.

In the second period, Quick got up swinging at Henrik Sedin after the Canucks captain jabbed for the puck just as Quick covered it up for a whistle.

As the scrum formed at one end, Lack rushed from his net to center ice before apparently being told by an official to stop right there, while Quick appeared to shout something down to the Canucks goalie.

“If he wanted it, I would have gone for sure,” said Lack.

Video: Kings’ Toffoli ejected for boarding major on Burrows


L.A. Kings forward Tyler Toffoli was given a major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct after hitting Vancouver Canucks forward Alex Burrows dangerously from behind into the boards at the L.A. bench.

The incident occurred in the third period.

Burrows had to be helped off the ice and was shaky as he got to his feet.

Seconds earlier, Toffoli had a short-handed breakaway but was denied on a pad save from Eddie Lack.

The Canucks took advantage, scoring on the ensuing five-on-three advantage to take a 2-1 lead.

Updated: Burrows returned to the game late in the third period.