Kempe and the Kings cruise to a comfortable 5-1 win over the Blues

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Adrian Kempe had a goal and an assist, and the Los Angeles Kings defeated the St. Louis Blues 5-1 on Saturday night.

Quinton Byfield, Blake Lizotte, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Kevin Fiala also scored for the Kings, who have won consecutive home games after winning just one of their first seven. Cam Talbot made 29 saves.

“You always want to score as many goals as you can, but the momentum just took us,” Byfield said. ”Everyone was making really solid plays, safe game management, like everyone was doing the right things out there. We just came out hot and it was a lot of fun.”

Jake Neighbours scored late for St. Louis, but Jordan Binnington allowed five goals on 30 shots. The Blues were rocked for the second straight game, following a 5-1 pasting by San Jose on Thursday.

“We've got to be able to come back in games, and so the last two games we haven't done a good job of that,” coach Craig Berube said.

The Kings scored at least four goals for the ninth time in 16 games, pummeling the Blues for four in the opening 15:20 of the first period.

Byfield scored on the power play 2:25 in, and Lizotte capitalized on a turnover by Brayden Schenn 19 seconds later to put Los Angeles up 2-0.

“We scored one quick, and then Lizzo goes out there and scores another big goal, so I think everyone was just feeling it tonight," said Byfield, who has three goals through 16 games after netting that many in 53 games last season.

Kempe got his eighth goal on a short-handed breakaway midway through the period, and Dubois finished the barrage with a one-timer from a knee.

“I think we had a really strong period, got off to a good start,” Byfield said. “It always comes from the start. The message is get on ’em early, as many shots as you can and work them down low, and we ended up scoring a lot.”

It was the second straight game in which the Blues allowed four goals in one period. They gave up four in the second against the Sharks, leaving center Robert Thomas to acknowledge St. Louis needs more from its best players to get out of this funk.

“It starts with us leaders,” Thomas said. “We've got to step up. We've got to play better, and it falls on our shoulders.”

Fiala scored for the second successive game, notching the fifth goal for Los Angeles with 24 seconds left in the second period.

The five goals allowed by Binnington matched his season high set Oct. 27 against Vancouver.

Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, who had the secondary assist on Fiala’s goal, played in his 1,111th game to tie Dave Taylor for third-most in team history.

Neighbours broke up the shutout bid with 3:54 remaining.

“You’re not going to come back on most nights against a team like that that’s stingy and plays with so much structure,” Schenn said.


Blues: Visit the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday night.

Kings: Visit the Arizona Coyotes on Monday night.