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Brown's hat trick helps Kings throttle Blues

By John Reger

PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- The St. Louis Blues own one of the top

power-play units in the NHL, but it was the Los Angeles Kings

that took advantage of the penalties on Thursday.

Captain Dustin Brown scored twice on the power play en route to

his first career hat trick as the Kings posted a 6-2 victory

over the Blues.

Anze Kopitar netted a pair of tallies and set up another and

Alexander Frolov also scored for Los Angeles, which scored its

first three goals with the man advantage.

"The special teams, power play and penalty-killing, were both

very good, and I liked our play along the boards," Kings coach

Terry Murray said. "We played heavy, we played strong on our

sticks and we competed, and that was right through the lineup."

Jarret Stoll collected three assists, defenseman Kyle Quincey

and Patrick O'Sullivan recorded two apiece and Erik Ersberg made

26 saves to earn the victory.

Cam Paddock and blue-liner Carlo Colaiacovo tallied for the

Blues, who entered the game with the third-best power play in

the NHL and immediately had a chance to capitalize on that

success as the Kings committed three penalties in the first

period.

"We were in a little bit of a predicament early on with the

penalties, but our special teams were a huge part of the game,"

Brown said. "Our penalty kills came up huge in the first 10

minutes of the game. The Blues might have scored two or three

goals during those power plays in a different game, but we shut

them down and came back during our power plays."

St. Louis registered a total of just five shots in the session

and ended the game 0-for-4 with the extra skater.

"We are just out of sync in all areas," Blues veteran Keith

Tkachuk said. "Not only on the power play, but

penalty-killings, 5-on-5. We just have to find a solution

pretty quickly."

Los Angeles scored on its first power play with 9:42 left in the

first, when Frolov deflected a slap shot by Quincey past

goaltender Chris Mason.

"Coach was just saying, 'Get the puck up there towards the

net,'" Quincey said. "We have such great players down low that

if I get the puck there, they can put it in the net."

Mason started in place of Manny Legace, who was placed on

injured reserve earlier in the day with a concussion suffered

when he was kneed in the head by Anaheim's Ryan Carter in the

first period of Wednesday's loss to the Ducks.

The Kings doubled the advantage 7:32 into the second period

after B.J. Crombeen was whistled for interference and Dan Hinote

was sent to the penalty box for tripping. Brown, who was

standing near the left goalpost, deflected a slap shot from the

point by Quincey past Mason during the 5-on-3 for his ninth goal

of the season.

"Brownie scored goals from being around the net," Murray said.

"On the power play, the shot by Quincey is a redirect. It's

where he's supposed to be. He's in the right place, and good

things happen."

With Hinote - who returned to the lineup after missing 13 games

with a lower body injury - still serving his penalty, Brown

scored again 72 seconds later, when he wristed a shot between

Mason's pads from the right faceoff dot.

"I felt like I was in a slump," Brown said. "I was getting

chances, but the puck wasn't going in. I just wanted to keep it

simple and put pucks toward the net. We need more of that. We

need to throw more pucks at the net."

Los Angeles pushed the lead to 4-0 with 9:25 remaining in the

session when Kopitar received a backhand pass from O'Sullivan on

the doorstep and slid the puck into the open net.

The Blues finally got on the scoreboard with 6:37 left in the

middle session, when Paddock tipped a slap shot by defenseman

Roman Polak past Ersberg. The play was reviewed by replay

officials as it was believed Paddock hit the puck with a high

stick, but the goal was upheld.

After making 20 saves, Mason was pulled by coach Andy Murray

after two periods and replaced by Ben Bishop, who was recalled

from the minors to replace Legace on the roster. The 6-7 Bishop

is the tallest goaltender to dress for an NHL game.

"Chris was battling hard and not getting a lot of help," Andy

Murray said. "He'll be in net on Saturday, so it gave him a

chance to get a 20-minute rest."

Colaiacovo halved the deficit 8:19 in the third period, but

Brown increased the Kings' bulge to 5-2 when he tipped a wrister

by Stoll past Bishop 4:26 later.

Kopitar closed the scoring with 6:38 to play. After firing a

shot from the left circle that was stopped by Bishop, who

finished with six saves, the Slovenian continued to drive to the

net and pushed the rebound past the netminder for his ninth of

the season.

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