Manor Rapid Review: Byfield, Dubois Power Kings Past Blue Jackets

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In the first of three games at home this week, the Kings defeated the Blue Jackets 5-1 on Monday night, bringing some momentum they built on their recent road trip back to Los Angeles. It was the team’s fourth straight victory.

Monday’s game reminded many of the offensive prowess that the Kings are capable of, something they haven’t shown on a regular basis as of late. This was the first time they scored five goals at home since Dec. 27.

With that being said, there are still aspects of LA’s game that needs some improvement. For example, they surrendered 34 shots to Columbus and allowed more quality chances than coach Jim Hiller probably would’ve liked. A second consecutive solid performance from Cam Talbot in net – as well as a final-minute goal from Drew Doughty – makes the final score suggest the game was less competitive than it actually was.

While no further update was available postgame, Viktor Arvidsson left 17 seconds into the opening period due to a lower-body injury and did not return. There is obvious concern surrounding the 30-year-old winger, as he missed the first 50 games of the season while recuperating from back surgery; the second such procedure in his time with the club. His status will continue to be monitored in the coming days, with a further update available perhaps as early as Wednesday.

Goal of the Year?: It’s safe to say that Quinton Byfield’s 18th tally of the season will be on highlight reels for weeks to come. Pulling out that move on former All-Star Zach Werenski is no small feat, either. Attempting to explain the goal wouldn’t do it justice, so have a look here instead…

QUINTON BYFIELD, OH MY. WHAT A GOAL.
🤯
pic.twitter.com/5RCquDDksT

— NHL (@NHL) February 21, 2024


Byfield is now just two goals shy of his first 20-goal season in the NHL. When he reaches that plateau, he’ll become just the third Kings player in the past 35 years to do it at age 21 or younger, joining Anze Kopitar and Alexander Frolov.

Dubois’ Emergence: Ever since coming back from the All-Star break (after watching a healthy dose of Lilo & Stitch), PL Dubois has nearly been a completely different player. His pair of goals on Tuesday night, along with his overall quality of play, points to an ongoing trend of solid performances for LA’s big offseason acquisition. Despite it being a small sample size, Dubois scoring at a point-per-game clip since the break is certainly encouraging. His strong play with Byfield and Alex Turcotte vs. the Blue Jackets only added to this recent trend of success.

Out-of-Town Help: LA will be glad to know that both Vancouver and Vegas lost on Tuesday. The Kings are now only four points back of the Golden Knights with two games in hand; a much smaller gap than compared to just a few short weeks ago. Although they won’t meet again this season, LA and Vegas will certainly be paying attention to the other team’s results down the stretch.

Stat Sheet Takeaways: The Kings blocked 19 shots vs. CBJ, which played a huge role in securing the win. Hiller’s group of men were able to show a committed effort on the defensive end of the ice, even as Columbus gained steam in the third period and had several power plays.

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Lead photo via Steve Rose

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