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News / Sports / National Sports

Kraken eliminated from playoff contention with 5-2 loss to Kings

Trevor Moore has second career hat trick to lead L.A.

By GREG BEACHAM, AP Sports Writer
Published: April 3, 2024, 9:28pm
4 Photos
Los Angeles Kings left wing Trevor Moore, right, scores on Seattle Kraken goaltender Philipp Grubauer during the third period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, April 3, 2024, in Los Angeles. That was Moore's third goal of the game. (AP Photo/Mark J.
Los Angeles Kings left wing Trevor Moore, right, scores on Seattle Kraken goaltender Philipp Grubauer during the third period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, April 3, 2024, in Los Angeles. That was Moore's third goal of the game. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Photo Gallery

LOS ANGELES — Trevor Moore scored three goals for his second career hat trick, and the Los Angeles Kings snapped their three-game skid while eliminating Seattle from the Stanley Cup playoff race with a 5-2 victory over the Kraken on Wednesday night.

Adrian Kempe and Kevin Fiala also scored and Cam Talbot made 21 saves for the Kings, who pulled within one point of Nashville for the top wild-card spot in the Western Conference by ending their longest losing streak since the 1-6-4 midseason skid that cost coach Todd McLellan his job.

Despite dropping three games in Canada over the previous week to fall out of third place in the Pacific Division, Los Angeles is now five points ahead of St. Louis for the second wild card in the Western Conference with seven games to play.

“We knew the game was important for us,” Moore said after coming through with his first hat trick since November 2022. “Wasn’t our best road trip, and it wasn’t a masterpiece tonight but we stuck with it and got it done.”

The Kings took control with two goals in just over four minutes of the second period by Moore, who then finished off Seattle on a slick breakaway with 3:03 to play.

“It’s the coolest thing ever,” Moore said of the subsequent shower of hats from Kings fans.

The Thousand Oaks native improbably leads Los Angeles this season with 29 goals. That’s 12 more than Moore’s previous career high and more than all of his elite offensive teammates.

“It feels vindicating, I guess,” Moore said. “But most importantly, it just feels good to be able to play as many games as I have so far this year. Hopefully all 82.”

Pierre-Luc Dubois had three assists for the Kings, who are three points behind Vegas for third in the Pacific. Just one of Los Angeles’ final seven regular-season opponents is currently in a playoff position.

“When you’re not feeling great because you didn’t get those points (on the road), you’re a little bit worried how you are going to come out and play,” Kings coach Jim Hiller said. “I thought our guys were composed. They came out believing in themselves, played hard to a man, and got the result they wanted.”

Andre Burakovsky and Brian Dumoulin scored in the third period for the Kraken, who will miss the playoffs for the second time in their three seasons of existence.

Philipp Grubauer stopped 22 shots for Seattle, which won 46 games and made its postseason debut last year as a wild card before stunning Central Division champion Colorado in the first round. But the Kraken have only 31 victories this season with seven games to play.

“We’re playing for other things here,” Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said. “We’re disappointed with the outcome today. We left some of our effort on the table. I don’t think our effort was poor, but we left too much in the tank here today. You have to evaluate it for what it is, both individually and collectively. It’s good to be able to come out and have a push in the third, but that needed to start at the start of the hockey game today, and that’s where we fell short.”

Kempe put the Kings ahead on a power play midway through the first period with with a quick wrist shot in the slot off a pass from Viktor Arvidsson for his 24th goal.

Moore scored in the second when he redirected a long shot by Matt Roy. Dubois then found Moore driving the net just over four minutes later, and Moore scored on his own rebound when Grubauer couldn’t corral the puck under pressure from Arvidsson.

Burakovsky scored Seattle’s first goal on Oliver Bjorkstrand’s cross-crease pass during a power play midway through the third.

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Fiala scored his 26th goal with 9:15 to play on a breakaway created by Blake Lizotte’s diving stick deflection of Will Borgen’s attempted slap shot, but Dumoulin ended his 25-game goal drought just 35 seconds later to keep it close.

“Whenever you play a team like LA, you can’t give them anything easy, and we did that tonight,” Dumoulin said. “They didn’t have to work for their chances, and they capitalized on the opportunities that they got. … Just obviously a couple of turnovers, a couple of breakaways. Just little details. They’re a good team, and when they get chances, they’re going to score.”

UP NEXT

Kraken at Anaheim on Friday.

————

KINGS 5, KRAKEN 2

Seattle 0 0 2 — 2

Los Angeles 1 2 2 — 5

First Period—1, Los Angeles, Kempe 24 (Arvidsson, Fiala), 9:24 (pp).

Second Period—2, Los Angeles, Moore 27 (Dubois, Roy), 7:39. 3, Los Angeles, Moore 28 (Arvidsson, Dubois), 11:49.

Third Period—4, Seattle, Burakovsky 6 (McCann, Bjorkstrand), 5:40 (pp). 5, Los Angeles, Fiala 26 (Lizotte), 10:45. 6, Seattle, Dumoulin 5 (Gourde, Tanev), 11:20. 7, Los Angeles, Moore 29 (Dubois), 16:57.

Shots on Goal—Seattle 3-7-13—23. Los Angeles 7-15-5—27.

Power-play opportunities—Seattle 1 of 4; Los Angeles 1 of 3.

Goalies—Seattle, Grubauer 12-14-2 (27 shots-22 saves). Los Angeles, Talbot 24-18-6 (23-21).

A—18,145 (18,230). T—2:26.

Referees—Pierre Lambert, Jon Mclsaac. Linesmen—Ryan Gibbons, Derek Nansen.

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