January 19, 2018 / 6:10 AM / in 6 months

Kings G DeSmith beats Penguins in starting debut

Patric Hornqvist scored twice and goalie Casey DeSmith stopped 28 shots to record the win in his first NHL start as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Kings 3-1 Thursday night in Los Angeles.

DeSmith, 26, was in net because No. 1 goalie Matt Murray took a leave due to the death of his father and Tristan Jarry needed a breather after starting the past five games, including a Wednesday night defeat in Anaheim. DeSmith’s teammates made it a happy night for him at Staples Center.

Hornqvist opened the scoring on the game’s first shot just 43 seconds into the affair with a tally that Kings goalie Jonathan Quick simply flubbed. Hornqvist wristed a sharp-angled offering as he zipped down the boards, which usually results in a rebound opportunity. Instead, the puck went through Quick’s legs as the goalie dropped to the butterfly formation.

Los Angeles’ Adrian Kempe tied the game at 14:10 of the second period.

Evgeni Malkin put Pittsburgh back on top only 26 seconds into the third period with his seventh goal in six games. Malkin was on the spot for the loose puck after a point shot was blocked, and he chipped the rebound over a screened Quick. Malkin, who also collected an assist, now has 17 points (nine goals, eight assists) in his past 11 games.

Hornqvist rounded out the scoring with his second of the game, a power-play goal at 10:21 of the third after Kings forward Dustin Brown was assessed a major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct.

Also riding a streak for the Penguins are Sidney Crosby, who had an assist to give him 14 points in a six-game run, and Carl Hagelin, who collected his fifth assist in a five-game span.

The Penguins have won five of six games heading into a road matchup against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.

Quick made 28 saves for Los Angeles, which has lost five consecutive games — all in regulation — and fallen out of a playoff position. The Kings will face the Ducks in Anaheim on Friday.

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