LOS ANGELES (AP)—Dustin Brown finally netted the elusive third goal.
Brown scored three in a game for his first NHL hat trick, and the Los Angeles Kings rebounded from their most lopsided loss of the season with a 6-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night.
Brown, who ended an eight-game goal drought, scored twice in a 72-second span during power plays in the second period. The Kings’ captain netted his third of the game and 11th of the season with 7:15 remaining when a shot by Jarret Stoll deflected in off his shin pad.
“I remember games where I had two goals and then had a million chances, it seemed like, to get the third one,” Brown said after his 10th career multigoal effort. “It was kind of like the same deal tonight. I hit the post on the power play earlier in the period. But it always happens that way, bouncing off you when you’re just standing there in front.”
Erik Ersberg got the start for the Kings after Jason LaBarbera’s 6-1 loss at Colorado on Tuesday and made 26 saves. Anze Kopitar had two goals and an assist, Alexander Frolov had a power-play goal and Stoll had three assists.
“Stoll is really good on the forecheck and works really hard on the faceoffs,” Brown said. “I don’t think we played in the defensive zone too much, and I think that’s a result of how good he is down low.”
The Kings improved to 3-0 against the Blues, including a 4-0 road win by LaBarbera on Oct. 24. They were 3-for-6 on the power play against a club that was short-handed no more than five times in 11 consecutive games.
“I think the difference was our work ethic,” Brown said. “After the game we had in Denver, we had to get back to basics.”
Cam Paddock and Carlo Colaiacovo scored for St. Louis. Andy Murray, in his third season as Blues coach after getting fired by the Kings with 12 games left in the 2005-06 season, is 2-9 against his former team.
“It was like the perfect storm,” Murray said. “The Kings came off a very disappointing game in Colorado, and they were coming in fired up, so you knew they were going to play well. We just played our fifth game in seven nights, and it showed. We came in here and it obviously looked like the batteries were a little bit empty.
“We took bad penalties, we didn’t have energy in our game at all and just didn’t play very well.”
Blues goalie Manny Legace, who took a knee to the head from Anaheim’s Ryan Carter in Wednesday night’s 4-2 loss, was placed on the injured list because of a concussion. Chris Mason made his 10th start and stopped 24 shots.
Ben Bishop, recalled from Peoria of the AHL to back up Mason, played the third period and gave up two goals 37 seconds apart.
“We played terrible hockey and let each other down,” Blues center Keith Tkachuk said. “It was just a horrible game. They have our number.”
After killing two St. Louis power plays, the Kings connected the first time they had the man advantage. Frolov opened the scoring at 10:18 of the opening period, redirecting Kyle Quincey’s wrist shot from the left point. The goal was Frolov’s 12th this season and seventh in 10 games.
“We kind of put ourselves in a little bit of a predicament early on with the penalties, but our special teams obviously were a huge part of the game,” Brown said. “Our P.K. came up huge in the first 10 minutes of the game. If they score there, maybe it’s a different game. But we shut them down.”
Staggered penalties against B.J. Crombeen for interference and Dan Hinote for tripping gave the Kings a two-man advantage for 1:23. Quincey took a shot inside the blue line, and Brown redirected it past Mason’s stick 33 seconds into the 5-on-3 power play for a 2-0 lead at 7:32 of the second.
Brown then beat Mason between the pads from the middle of the right circle after getting a cross-ice pass from Kopitar.
“I felt like I’ve been in a slump—getting chances, but the pucks just weren’t getting in,” Brown said. “I was just trying to keep it simple, just getting pucks to the net. My first goal was a result of that.”
Kopitar made it 4-0 at 10:35 of the second after Mason kicked out Quincey’s slap shot from the left point. The Blues got on the board less than three minutes later when Roman Polak’s slap shot from the right point deflected off the stick of Kings defenseman Sean O’Donnell and then off the blade of Cam Paddock’s stick. The goal was upheld after a lengthy video review.
The Blues have allowed 10 power-play goals in six games. … The crowd of 13,851 was the Kings’ 10th under 15,000 in 19 home games this season. Staples Center has a capacity of 18,118 for hockey. … Hinote was activated from the injured list after missing 13 games with an undisclosed lower body injury. … RW Teddy Purcell made his season debut for Los Angeles after getting recalled from Manchester (AHL).