Daily News Kings bounce back from blowout loss with victory over Devils

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By TOM CANAVAN AP Sports Writer

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Quinton Byfield scored on a power play with 5:37 left and the Kings rebounded from a seven-goal loss to beat the New Jersey Devils, 2-1, on Thursday night.

Anze Kopitar scored a short-handed goal and David Rittich made 27 saves as the Kings won for only the fifth time in their last 20 games (5-9-6) but improved to 2-1 under interim coach Jim Hiller.

Tyler Toffoli scored on a power play for New Jersey, which had won two in a row. Nico Daws was outstanding in goal, making 27 saves, including sensational glove stops on Kopitar in the first period and Adrian Kempe in the second.

The winner in the chippy game came after defenseman Brandt Clarke took a slap shot from the right point. Byfield attempted to tip the shot but he definitely got the rebound into the net for his 17th goal.

Coming off a 7-0 loss at Buffalo on Tuesday, the Kings responded and outplayed the Devils for much of the first two periods. Still, they were tied 1-1 entering the third.

Kopitar gave the Kings the lead at 8:07 of the second period with a short-handed goal that was set up by Kempe. He beat Luke Hughes to the puck in the Devils’ zone and got a shot on net that Daws stopped. Kopitar beat Jack Hughes to the rebound and slid it into the net for his 16th goal.

Toffoli, who played with the Kings from 2013-2020 and won a Stanley Cup with them in 2014, tied the score at 12:58, putting in the rebound of Jesper Bratt’s shot. It was his team-high 23rd goal.

The struggling Kings got a boost with the return of veteran forward Viktor Arvidsson. He had back surgery in October and missed the first 50 games of the season.

Arvidsson, who had several scoring chances, mixed it up with Devils All-Star forward Jack Hughes in front of the benches in the second period, drawing coincidental minors.

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When the penalties ended, Hughes got a semi-breakaway but was stopped by Rittich as Arvidsson hindered him from behind. The Devils All-Star was so miffed no penalty was called, he slammed his stick against the glass and then broke it over the boards and threw it on the ice.

Daws, who was making his third straight start, kept the Devils in the game in the opening period, stopping 13 shots including a glove save in close on a backhander by Kopitar.

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The Kings play at Boston on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. PT.

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