Phillip Danault’s hat trick carries Kings past stumbling Devils

Phillip Danault’s hat trick carries Kings past stumbling Devils

Phillip Danault registered his second career hat trick and scored his first goals on home ice this season as the Los Angeles Kings overcame an early deficit and cruised to a 5-1 victory over the New J

Phillip Danault registered his second career hat trick and scored his first goals on home ice this season as the Los Angeles Kings overcame an early deficit and cruised to a 5-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Sunday afternoon.Los Angeles improved to 8-4-0 under interim coach Jim Hillier and posted its second straight lopsided win to pull even with the Nashville Predators in the wild-card race with 72 points.Danault scored at home for the first time since March 6, 2023, by notching the tying goal in the first period and striking again in the second before scoring into the empty net with 2:13 left.Alex Laferriere, who grew up a Devils fan in New Jersey, scored the tiebreaking goal for the Kings in the first period and Kevin Fiala scored a power-play goal 34 seconds after Danault’s second tally.Los Angeles goaltender Cam Talbot was beaten by Timo Meier 15 seconds in but finished with 30 saves.Meier scored the NHL’s second-fastest goal this season, but the Devils lost for the fifth time in seven games.New Jersey goaltender Nico Daws was pulled for the second straight game after allowing four goals on 13 shots. Akira Schmid stopped nine shots.Meier capitalized on a fluky bounce to easily put New Jersey ahead on the game’s first shift by putting a backhander past Talbot following Quinton Byfield’s errant clearing attempt.

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