EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) After being blown out in Buffalo earlier in the week, Los Angeles Kings needed only one game to start looking like the team that won 20 of its first 31 games this season.

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.

“Buffalo was a tough one,” Byfield said. “I feel like we, myself included, it was a bad start. We weren’t prepared for that game. They came out hot. They’re good young, fast team and we just weren’t ready for that. But tonight we had a day to regroup about that; figure out and get right back in their mindset. And I felt like we had a really good start tonight and just carried on throughout the whole game.”

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).

“You look at the game before, there were a lot of reasons to be going well tonight,” Kings interim head coach Jim Hiller said. “You never know what the result is going to be but we could see right from the start, we were skating, everybody was skating."

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 definitely got the rebound into the net for his 17th goal.

Kopitar gave Los Angeles 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 scored at 12:58, putting in the rebound of Jesper Bratt's shot. It was his team-high 23rd goal.

Toffoli like the way the Devils played.

“But at the end of the day you need points and you need to climb the standings especially with where we’re at,” he said. "So, I mean we can look at it in a positive way and we will. But at the same time, we got to know in the back of our minds that, we have to win these close games.”

The struggling Kings got a boost with the return of veteran forward Viktor Arvidsson, who had five shots in almost 16 minutes on the ice. He had back surgery in October and missed the first 50 games.

“It’s been a long way a long road back and it was really nice to be back out there and feeling the competitiveness and stuff like that and being around the team and on the bench and stuff like that,” the 30-year-old said.

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

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.


Kings: At Boston on Saturday.

Devils: Face Flyers Saturday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey in the Stadium Series.


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