KRAKEN

Spence, Durzi send LA Kings past Seattle Kraken 4-2

Mar 26, 2022, 10:40 PM

              The Los Angeles Kings celebrate after rLos Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar (11) scored during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Seattle Kraken Saturday, March 26, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
            
              Seattle Kraken right wing Daniel Sprong (91) celebrates with teammates after scoring during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings Saturday, March 26, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
            
              Los Angeles Kings left wing Alex Iafallo (19) passes to center Anze Kopitar (11) during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Seattle Kraken Saturday, March 26, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
            
              The Seattle Kraken celebrate after right wing Daniel Sprong (91) scored during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings Saturday, March 26, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
            
              Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar (11) scores against Seattle Kraken goaltender Philipp Grubauer, right, during the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, March 26, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
            
              Seattle Kraken right wing Joonas Donskoi (72) passes against Los Angeles Kings right wing Arthur Kaliyev (34) and defenseman Sean Durzi (50) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, March 26, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jordan Spence scored his first NHL goal and captain Anze Kopitar had a goal and an assist in the Los Angeles Kings’ 4-2 victory over the Seattle Kraken on Saturday night.

LA Kings 4, Seattle Kraken 2: Box score

Gabriel Vilardi scored his first goal in five months and Sean Durzi ended a 29-game goal drought for the Kings in their second win over the expansion Kraken this season.

Cal Petersen made 23 saves as Los Angeles solidified its hold on second place in the Pacific Division by earning at least a point for the ninth time in 12 games.

Daniel Sprong scored in his second straight game since joining Seattle, and Philipp Grubauer stopped 23 shots for the Kraken during their debut in downtown Los Angeles. Morgan Geekie tacked on another goal with four seconds to play.

With defenseman Drew Doughty still sidelined by an upper-body injury, Spence and Durzi stepped up to provide unexpected offense from the blue line.

Spence scored late in the second period of his ninth NHL game when his long shot from the point snaked through a crowd and got past Grubauer without hitting anybody. The crowd gave a standing ovation to Spence, a 21-year-old, Australia-born, Japan-raised Canadian defenseman drafted in the fourth round three years ago.

Vilardi opened the scoring in the first with a sharp deflection of a puck from Olli Maatta for his second goal of the season. The 2017 first-round pick had been injured or in the AHL since shortly before Halloween, but he returned to Los Angeles seven games ago to build on his strong play in the minors.

Kopitar then finished a rush early in the second period, beating Grubauer after All-Star Adrian Kempe started the break with a long pass to Alex Iafallo. The goal was only Kopitar’s second in 15 games, but he has six points in LA’s last five games.

Sprong got Seattle on the board 2:12 later with an impressive, lengthy, one-man rush for a goal, his second in two games. He also scored at Arizona on Tuesday.

The Kraken acquired Sprong from the Capitals on Monday in a trade for Marcus Johansson, and the Dutch forward has immediately shown the goal-scoring talent that has never been consistent enough in his previous NHL stops in Pittsburgh, Anaheim and Washington.

Durzi corralled a puck off the end boards and put it into an open net early in the third period during a 4-on-3 advantage. The defenseman hadn’t scored a goal since Jan. 13.

Doughty missed his ninth straight game for Los Angeles, but defenseman Tobias Bjornfot returned from a five-game absence with a lower-body injury.

UP NEXT

A rematch in Los Angeles on Monday night.

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Spence, Durzi send LA Kings past Seattle Kraken 4-2