After a less than stellar showing in San Jose Thursday night, the Los Angeles Kings set up a fortress at Staples Center Saturday night that would not easily be run over. The Kings came out swinging – their sticks that is – right out of the gate, with Kyle Clifford scoring less than three minutes in. Riding a bit of a points streak and with the gusto to match, Clifford has been on a tear and lighting a consequent fire under his teammates as of late. He would have another goal in the game, along with Jarrett Stoll, Justin Williams and Dwight King all adding their own tally to beat visiting San Jose five goals to two. Jonathan Bernier made 21 saves (including a penalty shot denial on Wingels in the second) and continues to build up his confidence as he gets his legs underneath him, and so does LA’s defense in front of him.
Kings’ prospect from their Manchester affiliate, Tyler Toffoli made his NHL debut, nearly scoring a point on the first goal of the game by Clifford. Toffoli recorded 13:20 in ice time and looked like a new kid ready to learn out there and definitely something to watch. Dustin Penner and Drew Doughty led the Kings in ice time, both recording 24 minutes and change and continuing to improve as a LW and Doughty as a defenseman. After no penalties in the first period, Clifford and Sharks d-man Douglas Murray were both assessed five for fighting, followed by just three penalties in the third.
LA will welcome their desert dog rivals Phoenix tomorrow night at Staples Center.