|LAK||5||2||1||(0 - 0)||8|
|CBJ||0||1||1||(0 - 0)||2|
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The Los Angeles Kings were concerned about being shown up. The Columbus Blue Jackets should have been the worried ones.
Alexander Frolov scored three goals in the opening 12:35 - on a power play, at even strength and short-handed - and Craig Conroy also had a hat trick to lead the Kings to an 8-2 victory on Sunday.
"I'd probably live a few years longer if we had more of them," Kings coach Andy Murray said of the lopsided win. "We knew it was imperative to get off to a good start and we certainly had some jump in our step. We were skating. We are afraid of being embarrassed here if we didn't play hard."
Conroy added two assists and Frolov had one. Eric Belanger and Michael Cammalleri also scored goals for the Kings, who have earned points in four straight games and six of seven.
Conroy's five points, Frolov's four and Pavol Demitra's four assists - all in the first period - were career highs for each of the linemates.
It was Frolov's first career hat trick, coming in a span of 8:18 in the opening period as Los Angeles rolled to a 5-0 lead.
"It was a great game for our team," Frolov said. "It doesn't happen very often - we're just really excited about it, especially our line."
Conroy had three goals in a game for the second time in his career.
"Tonight, things were going in," he said. "We've had games where we've had a lot of chances and we've gotten one goal. ... Pav made some great passes to Fro. We got one on the power play. You start to feel good about yourself and you want to just keep it going."
"It was an awful night," Columbus coach Gerard Gallant said. "It was a long game and it was basically over five minutes into it when it was 3-0."
The Kings came in with the third-best record in the Western Conference, while the Blue Jackets were next-to-last and had scored fewer goals (32) than any NHL team. Columbus has lost six of seven and continues to founder without leading scorer Rick Nash, out until mid-December with a sprained knee.
After a turnover by Marchant, Frolov made it 2-0 on a one-timer off a drop pass from Demitra at 4:17.
With the Kings on a power play, Demitra tossed a cross-ice pass to Conroy. His shot hit the skate of defenseman Radoslav Suchy and bounced to Frolov, who one-timed the puck past goaltender Martin Prusek.
That gave the Kings a 3-0 lead on only five shots.
Frolov finished his hat trick on a short-handed rush, deking Marc Denis, who replaced Prusek after the third goal. Frolov scored on a backhander at 12:35. Kings goaltender Mathieu Garon, who made 27 saves, picked up an assist.
The Kings took a 1-0 lead 1:35 in on Conroy's soft shot from the left hash, assisted by Demitra and Frolov. Los Angeles' fifth goal of the opening period was also short-handed, with Conroy scoring his second off an assist from Demitra on a 2-on-1.
"We played great, especially for the first 20 minutes. Probably one of the best 20 minutes we've played thus far," Demitra said. "All the four lines had jump and we had a lot of chances and we totally dominated the game. It's fun to play games like this and score a lot of goals."
The five goals in the period matched the most given up by the Blue Jackets in franchise history, tying the mark set by the Kings in a 7-1 victory early in 2001.
Conroy's third goal came on a nifty move in open ice as he skated sideways. He got the puck after it bounced off defenseman Bryan Berard and then rocketed it past Denis.
Notes: The Kings are 9-5-4 in the series. ... Detroit's Jason Williams scored three goals in 10:48 of the first period in a 6-0 win at Columbus on Oct. 22. ... Columbus had not given up a short-handed goal in its first 17 games before giving up two in a span of 5:13 in the opening period.
|Craig Conroy (8) Backhand shot - ASST: Pavol Demitra (12), Alex Frolov (9)|
1 - 0 LAK
|Alex Frolov (9) Wrist shot - ASST: Pavol Demitra (13), Craig Conroy (12)|
2 - 0 LAK
|PPG - Alex Frolov (10) Wrist shot - ASST: Craig Conroy (13), Pavol Demitra (14)|
3 - 0 LAK
|SHG - Alex Frolov (11) Backhand shot - ASST: Jeremy Roenick (4), Mathieu Garon (1)|
4 - 0 LAK
|SHG - Craig Conroy (9) Slapshot - ASST: Pavol Demitra (15)|
5 - 0 LAK
|Todd Marchant (3) Snap shot - ASST: Jason Chimera (2), Duvie Westcott (1)|
5 - 1 LAK
|PPG - Eric Belanger (5) Wrist shot - ASST: Sean Avery (4), Joe Corvo (6)|
6 - 1 LAK
|Mike Cammalleri (5) Snap shot - ASST: Tom Kostopoulos (4), Nathan Dempsey (3)|
7 - 1 LAK
|Craig Conroy (10) Wrist shot - ASST: Tim Gleason (8), Aaron Miller (1)|
8 - 1 LAK
|Jason Chimera (4) Wrist shot - ASST: Trevor Letowski (2), Bryan Berard (10)|
8 - 2 LAK
|Bryan Berard Hooking|
|Tim Gleason Tripping against Trevor Letowski|
|Jody Shelley Interference|
|George Parros Hooking against Bryan Berard|
|Jason Chimera Interference on goalkeeper against Mathieu Garon|
|Dustin Brown Game misconduct against Nikolay Zherdev|
|Dustin Brown Kneeing (maj) against Nikolay Zherdev|
|Manny Malhotra Roughing against Dustin Brown|
|Tyler Wright Charging|
|Francois Beauchemin Interference|
|Luke Richardson Hooking against Jeff Giuliano|
|Duvie Westcott Holding against Alex Frolov|
|Jeff Cowan Roughing against Jody Shelley|
|Mike Rupp Hooking|