April 7, 2019 / 5:51 AM / 15 days ago

Kings finish disappointing season with win over Knights

Ilya Kovalchuk scored two goals and Anze Kopitar had a goal and an assist to lead the host Los Angeles Kings to a 5-2 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday night.

April 6, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Vegas Golden Knights left wing William Carrier (28) moves the puck ahead of Los Angeles Kings defenseman Derek Forbort (24) during the first period at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Carter and Matt Roy also scored goals for Los Angeles, which finished last in the Western Conference for the first time since 2007-08 with 71 points and a 31-42-9 record. Dustin Brown added a pair of assists.

Jonathan Quick finished with 29 saves to pick up his 309th career victory, fourth best among U.S. born goaltenders in NHL history. Quick, pulled after giving up seven goals on 25 shots in a 7-2 loss to Calgary in his previous start on April 1, finished the season with a 16-23-7 record.

Brandon Pirri and Valentin Zykov scored for Vegas, which lost for the seventh time in eight games. Marc-Andre Fleury had 27 saves for the Golden Knights, who finished third in the Pacific Division with 93 points and a 43-32-7 record and will play San Jose in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Kings jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period, capitalizing on a pair of turnovers by Zykov. Kovalchuk stole the puck from Zykov near the left boards at the Vegas blue line and then broke loose on a breakaway, deking Fleury and then beating him with a wrist shot for his 15th goal of the season.

Carter scored his 13th goal on a rebound of a Kyle Clifford shot after Clifford stole the puck from Zykov inside the blue line.

Roy increased the Kings lead to 3-0 midway through the second period with his second goal of the season, firing a wrist shot from the top of the right circle that beat Fleury on his glove side.

Vegas closed to 3-2 with two goals in 2:18, the first by Pirri on a spinning shot in the slot and the second on a backdoor tap in from the left side of the goal by Zykov off a nice setup by defenseman Jimmy Schuldt, a two-time Hobey Baker finalist from St. Cloud State making his NHL debut after signing an entry level contract with the Golden Knights on Wednesday.

Kopitar put the Kings back up by two goals with a power-play goal at the 8:52 mark of the third period with his 22nd goal, tapping in a rebound of a Brown shot. Kovalchuk finished the scoring with an empty-net goal with 54.2 seconds remaining.

—Field Level Media

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