Danault, Kings cruise to 5-1 victory over Devils

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Phillip Danault's three scores led the way as Los Angeles recorded their second straight 5-1 win.

Coming off of a big-time win over the Canucks, the Kings headed home for a battle against the New Jersey Devils. Just seconds into the game, Timo Meier would score his 13th on the season to get New Jersey on the board and open the scoring. Phillip Danault would then respond with his first goal on the day, and Alex Laferriere would also add on before the end of the period. In the second, Danault struck again with his 13th of the season. His score would be followed up by a goal from Kevin Fiala as Los Angeles took a 4-1 lead into the third. With the Devils leaving the net empty as they tried to battle back late, Danault cashed in once more to secure his hat trick and seal the deal on a 5-1 Kings victory.

Here are three takeaways from the game:

Cam Talbot saves 30 in strong showing

Making his third start in a row at goalie, Cam Talbot was looking to keep the momentum rolling from an impressive game against the 1-seeded Canucks. He did not get off to an ideal start, however, as the Devils managed to jump out in front just seconds into the opening period. From that point on, Talbot was lights out for Los Angeles. He would go on to save the next 30 shots for the Kings, keeping New Jersey out of the net for the remainder of the contest. In total, he saved 30 out of 31 shots and gathered his 18th victory of the season. He is now 18-14-5 on the year and has had 17+ wins in each of his last 4 seasons. The 11-year veteran has now strung together 2 clutch performances in a row against competitive teams, and the Kings have won 8 out of 12 to start the home stretch of the season. They will certainly look for Talbot to keep on delivering against big teams when it matters the most.

Danault dazzles with hat trick in front of the home crowd

As 18,145 fans filled into Crypto.com Arena on Sunday afternoon to watch the Kings, they did not know that they would get to witness Phillip Denault put on a show. In his third campaign with the Kings, the 31-year-old center is having the third-best scoring season of his career. His three goals against New Jersey brought him to 14 total on the season, which he has surpassed just 2 times in previous seasons. Both of those seasons happened to be with the Kings as well, in which he scored 27 times in the 21-22 season and 18 times in the 22-23 season. His first score on the day helped Los Angeles draw back even in the first as he cashed in on a beautiful outlet pass from Kevin Fiala.

He once again struck with the first score of the second period to extend the Kings’ lead to 3-1. Fiala would make sure to add on the insurance less than a minute later to further extend the Los Angeles advantage. With 2 goals already under his belt on the day, Danault wasn’t satisfied just yet. He would find the net for the third time late in the closing period as the Devils left the net empty in hopes of a comeback effort.

The hat trick was just the second of Danault’s career so far, and his first since the 2018-2019 season as a member of the Canadiens. His dominance on Sunday afternoon went a long way towards the victory for Los Angeles, and hopefully, he will be able to keep the goals coming at the same rate in the near future.

Fiala scores, assists twice in the victory

The Los Angeles Kings points leader so far this season was back at it again leaving his mark in front of the home crowd. He delivered a three-point performance to bring himself to 55 points total on the season, pushing his team lead to 4 points over Anze Kopitar and Adrian Kempe. His first assist came on Phillip Denault’s opening score, which was a beautiful feed down the ice to set him up for a one-on-one chance against New Jersey goalie Nico Daws. Fiala then decided he wanted to get in on the action with a score of his own, delivering in the second period on a power-play goal.

It was his 19th of the season, bringing him alongside Adrian Kempe for the second-most scores on the team this season. Fiala then grabbed his third and final point of the contest in the third as he and Trevor Moore were credited for assists on Phillip Denault’s hat trick dagger. It was a fun day for Fiala and the Kings, who played a great team game as they won their second in a row.

Up next for Los Angeles, however, is a rematch against the Vancouver Canucks. After traveling to Canada to take them down 5-1 just two games ago, they will now play as the home team looking to take the second game of the season series between the two clubs. The Canucks still remain in first place in the Pacific Division with an 11-point lead over the fourth-place Kings, but another Los Angeles win could pull them even closer to Vancouver.

The game is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. PT.