The Pittsburgh Penguins increased their lead at the top of the NHL Eastern Conference standings with a 4-1 in Los Angeles on Thursday as the Kings failed to arrest their recent slide, despite returning home after a long absence.
As Los Angeles continued to struggle, Pacific Division rivals Anaheim continued their superb form with a win over Philadelphia, Colorado notched an important win over Minnesota and Montreal ended Boston’s recent scoring binge.
Pittsburgh were set on their way by Evgeni Malkin’s first-minute goal, while Jussi Jokinen also had a goal and an assist in the first period.
Chris Kunitz and Tanner Glass both scored in their second straight game for the Penguins, who recorded the franchise’s first regulation victory at the Staples Center.
Anze Kopitar scored his third goal in five games for the Kings, but those are the only goals scored in the last nine days by the hosts, who have lost seven of eight.
The Kings had played their previous eight games away from Staples Center, including last weekend’s nominal home game at Dodger Stadium. They have a four-game homestand heading into the Olympic break, but still have not solved their scoring woes.
Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf scored the go-ahead goal in the final minute of the first period as the Ducks went on to beat the Philadelphia Flyers 5-3.
Corey Perry, Patrick Maroon and Daniel Winnik also scored for Anaheim, while Saku Koivu added an empty-net goal for the Ducks, who have won 22 of their past 26 games.
Vincent Lecavalier, Matt Read and Michael Raffl scored for the Flyers.
Colorado’s Semyon Varlamov celebrated a five-year contract extension by making 35 saves to help the Avalanche edge the Minnesota Wild 5-4.
John Mitchell had a goal and an assist, while Ryan O’Reilly, Paul Stastny, Nathan MacKinnon and Maxime Talbot also scored for Colorado, who moved nine points ahead of Minnesota in the Central Division, tightening their grasp on third place and the final automatic playoff seed in the division.
Zach Parise had two goals and two assists, while Mikael Granlund and Jason Pominville also scored for the Wild.
Montreal goalie Peter Budaj stopped 34 shots to stop the goal-happy Boston Bruins and lead the Canadiens to a 4-1 win.
The Bruins had scored six goals in each of their previous three games.
Alexei Emelin and Max Pacioretty scored, before Dougie Hamilton’s goal cut Montreal’s lead to 2-1 after one period. Brian Gionta made it 3-1, prompting a change of goaltender, but Chad Johnson let in the first shot he faced, by Daniel Briere.
Ottawa’s Marc Methot, Erik Karlsson, Zack Smith, Kyle Turris and Bobby Ryan scored as the Senators raced to a four-goal lead and held on to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-3.
Alex Killorn, Tyler Johnson and Victor Hedman scored for the Lightning.
The Calgary Flames notched their fourth straight win with a 4-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks, with Mark Giordano scoring the go-ahead goal.
New Jersey’s Patrik Elias scored a power-play goal 40 seconds into overtime to give the Devils a 3-2 win against the Dallas Stars.
Columbus’ Ryan Johansen scored twice to help the Blue Jackets end a three-game slide and beat the Washington Capitals 5-2.
The Toronto Maple Leafs brought up their fifth straight home win with a 6-3 defeat of the Florida Panthers, with Nazem Kadri having three assists, including his 100th career point.