Alex Iafallo, Ilya Kovalchuk push LA Kings past Detroit, 4-2
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Alex Iafallo scored two goals and Ilya Kovalchuk had his first two NHL assists in nearly 5 ½ years, leading the Los Angeles Kings to a 4-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday night.
Captain Anze Kopitar and Paul LaDue also scored as the Kings earned their first victory of the new season.
Anthony Mantha and Dylan Larkin scored for the Red Wings, and rookie defenseman Dennis Cholowski had two assists.
Kovalchuk’s first point with the Kings also was his 400th career assist when he set up Kopitar’s goal in the second period. The Russian star then pounced on a puck in the corner during the third period and made a beautiful pass to Iafallo for the Kings’ third goal.
With two beautiful scoring passes to his linemates on the Kings’ top line, Kovalchuk recorded his first multipoint NHL game since April 25, 2013. Now 35 years old, the former No. 1 pick in the NHL draft joined the Kings this season after five years with SKA St. Petersburg.
Jack Campbell made 36 saves for the Kings in place of Jonathan Quick, who went on injured reserve earlier with a lower-body injury sustained in practice Saturday. Campbell earned his third career NHL victory with a series of solid stops.
Former Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier stopped 21 shots in his Detroit debut. The Red Wings signed Bernier as a free agent in July. He was drafted 11th overall by Los Angeles in 2006 and was Quick’s backup on Los Angeles’ 2012 Stanley Cup championship team.
After a scoreless first period, Kopitar got a slick pass from Kovalchuk and roofed a backhand for his second goal in the Kings’ two games.
Kovalchuk got on an NHL scoresheet for the first time since he left the New Jersey Devils in 2013.
Detroit evened it four minutes later when Mantha’s long shot slipped under Campbell for his first goal of the season. He had a team-leading 24 last year.
Iafallo’s first goal went into Bernier’s net in the third period after the goalie knocked it off its moorings, but officials allowed the goal to stand.
Larkin got an unassisted goal off his own rebound late in the third, but Iafallo added an empty-netter.
NOTES: Detroit D Trevor Daley left the ice in the first period after apparently getting his right skate blade caught between the boards and the ice. Daley fell without contact and stayed down before skating off gingerly. ... Kings D Drew Doughty played in his 330th consecutive game, matching the franchise record set by Kopitar from 2007-11. ... F Jaret Anderson-Dolan made his NHL debut for the Kings after becoming the youngest player to make the Kings’ roster since 1984. The 19-year-old’s family was in attendance at Staples Center.
Red Wings: At Anaheim Ducks on Monday.
Kings: Open four-game Canadian road trip at Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday.
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