Manor Rapid Review: Danault’s Hat Trick Lifts Over Devils

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With a 5-1 win over the New Jersey Devils on Sunday afternoon, the Kings kicked off an important five-game homestand on the right foot. It was their second straight victory and they also swept the season series over their 2012 Stanley Cup Final dance partner.

After the Devils opened the scoring just 15 seconds into the game, it looked like the Kings might be in for a long afternoon. However, first period goals from Phil Danault and New Jersey native Alex Laferriere sent LA into the first intermission up 2-1.

The Kings went on to add two more goals in the middle frame and did not allow much from the Devils from then on. When New Jersey did generate chances, Cam Talbot was stellar; returning to the form that earned him a spot in this year’s NHL All-Star Game. Danault capped things off by potting an empty-net goal to secure a 5-1 victory.

Danault’s Hatty: Scoring his second career hat trick – and first as a member of the Kings – wasn’t the most remarkable thing Danault did during Sunday’s win. Prior to the game, he had not yet found the score sheet at Crypto.com Arena this season. All 12 of his previous goals I’m 2023-24 had come on the road. Further, his trio of goals were a reminder of the depth the Kings have offensively; something they’ll need to take advantage of throughout the remainder of the regular season. Danault’s hat trick was also the first for the Kings at home since Adrian Kempe scored four goals last February on Dustin Brown Night.

Phillip Danault wanted some hats.
🥳
pic.twitter.com/gFr9OO45ld

— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 3, 2024


Strong Game for Talbot: Goaltender Cam Talbot stopped 30 of 31 shots en route to victory. The 36-year-old has struggled since the calendar flipped to 2024, but more performances like he had on Sunday will only help in the Kings playoff push over the next six weeks. The net is seemingly up for grabs at the moment between Talbot and David Rittich, with coach Jim Hiller electing to play the goalie with the hot hand on Sunday, giving the former his third straight start between the pipes.

Special Teams: As is the case many times, special teams played a large role in the outcome of Sunday’s game. Kevin Fiala scored a power play goal for the Kings while New Jersey went 0-for-3 with a man-advantage. The Devils never found their rhythm offensively and only put forward three shots-on-goal when on the power play.

Stat Sheet Takeaways: PL Dubois won 73% of his faceoffs on Sunday afternoon. Strength down the middle is arguably the best aspect of the Kings roster, and faceoff dominance is one of the reasons why. For a player like Dubois, who has been under heavy criticism throughout the season, these types of numbers will help boost his confidence and should only make him more comfortable entering the most crucial part of the season.

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