LOS ANGELES — Andreas Athanasiou and Blake Lizotte each had a goal and two assists for the Los Angeles Kings in a 4-1 win against the Anaheim Ducks at Staples Center on Tuesday.
Carl Grundstrom had a goal and an assist, and Calvin Petersen made 24 saves for the Kings (17-20-6), who had lost six of eight.
It was the first home game with fans this season for the Kings.
“These last three months when we haven’t had fans, it’s a different atmosphere and a different play style and it’s just not as exciting, so I’m absolutely thrilled to have our fans back and providing energy for us,” Lizotte said. “Seriously, it makes a huge difference and absolutely love having them back, so that was great tonight.”
Los Angeles had not played since April 14 because a two-game set against the Colorado Avalanche was postponed after three Colorado players were placed in NHL COVID-19 protocol.
Cam Fowler scored, and Anthony Stolarz made 18 saves for the Ducks (14-26-7), who have lost three straight and five of seven.
“They’ve gotten a few goals and you’re trying to make plays and you’re trying to force it through a trap like that, it can get frustrating,” Anaheim forward Troy Terry said. “I don’t think we did a bad job. It’s just [that] it can get frustrating.”
The Kings are in seventh place in the eight-team Honda West Division, five points behind the fourth-place Arizona Coyotes with three games in hand. The Ducks are in eighth, 10 points behind the Coyotes. The top four teams will qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
“Had a bit of a rough stretch a little bit ago and we’re still within reach of a playoff spot, we feel,” Lizotte said. “We believe that we can get there, so it’s playoff hockey this time of year and the intensity [will] just continue to ramp up. I think we just need to focus on our details of our game. When we take care of our details, we’re tough to beat.”
The Kings went up 1-0 at 5:26 of the first period on Grundstrom’s sixth goal when he was hit in the back by the puck after Athanasiou sent it toward the net from the left point on the rush.
“He has scored a couple of those this year, so we made some jokes,” Lizotte said. “We’ll take ’em how we can get them, I guess.”
Anze Kopitar made it 2-0 at 8:31 of the second period when he scored his 10th goal on a breakaway set up by Drew Doughty‘s stretch pass.
Athanasiou scored on a one-timer from the right face-off circle to extend the lead to 3-0 at 10:48. He has five points (two goals, three assists) in his past four games.
Lizotte put Athanasiou’s rebound into an open net at 10:50 of the third period to make it 4-0. It was Lizotte’s first three-point game and first multiassist game in 103 NHL games.
Lizotte has six points (one goal, five assists) in his past seven games.
“He works probably harder than anyone on our team,” Doughty said. “When someone does that game in and game out, they deserve to be rewarded. And not that he hasn’t been creating chances in the other games, he has, but they’re finally going in for him and the hockey gods are finally on his side because he deserves all the points and stuff because he does all those other little things for us that a lot of other players don’t do.”
Fowler cut it to 4-1 at 14:36.
“It’s one of those tough games to evaluate,” Anaheim coach Dallas Eakins said. “Overall, I thought we played a good game. We just didn’t score when we needed to, and they did.”
NOTES: Ducks defenseman Josh Manson did not return after fighting Kings forward Brendan Lemieux at 13:10 of the third period. Eakins did not have an update. Lemieux also left the game with an apparent hand injury. … It was Athanasiou’s fourth three-point game in the NHL. … Kopitar has scored at least 10 goals in each of his 15 NHL seasons. … Defensemen Matt Roy and Tobias Bjornfot each returned to the lineup for the Kings. Roy had three hits and three blocked shots in 16:47 after missing seven games in COVID-19 protocol, and Bjornfot had one shot in 13:57 after missing eight games with an upper-body injury. … Ducks forward Max Comtois had an assist and has five points (two goals, three assists) in his past five games.