The Los Angeles Kings have been bringing their “A-Game,” playing without the services of sharp-shooters Jarret Stoll and Jeff Carter. Since both players have been out of the lineup with injuries, the Kings still managed to pull out victories against the Buffalo Sabres and Vancouver Canucks.
Since the Sabres are in last place in the Eastern Conference, the win over the Canucks had more meaning since they are currently battling for the fourth spot in the Pacific Division in the Western Conference.
It seemed like everything was clicking for the Kings in their 5-1 rout of the Canucks. The Kings barrage of goals forced Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo to be removed from the game in the second period. This was after Mike Richards scored a goal and Justin Williams followed with another one 1:46 later to make it 4-1.
When Canucks substitute goalie Eddie Lack entered the game 46 seconds later he was greeted with Tyler Toffoli’s second goal of the game which would end up sealing the deal at 5-1.
Taffoli and 22-year-old rookie Linden Vey were called up last week from Manchester, the Kings’ minor league affiliate. Vey, playing in just his second NHL game, was instrumental in setting up the first goal of the contest for Jordan Nolan and with that assist, recorded his first career NHL point.
“It was just an awesome rush,” Vey said. “The guy challenged me and I was able to get past him and pass to Nolie and he had a good finish on the play…every shift, every game I feel a lot better.”
Taffoli is also happy about being given the nod and being productive. “You don’t want to be playing American League hockey. You want to be playing in the NHL,” he said. “So that was definitely hard. But I went down there, took a little time to adjust, and just started heating up again.”
“Both of them showed their offensive composure and ability to handle pucks under pressure,” Kings Coach Darryl said of Toffoli and Vey after the game. “Tyler’s a shooter and Lindy’s a playmaker and Lindy made a good play on Jordy’s goal…and Tyler, him and Mike [Richards], that line was really good.”
Kings net-minder Jonathan Quick, coming off his 26th career shutout versus the Sabres, also had another brilliant performance, stopping 25 of 26 shots-on-goal.