Grundstrom scores 2, Kings beat Blues 5-1

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Carl Grundstrom scored two goals in Los Angeles’ four-goal second period, and the Kings beat the St. Louis Blues 5-1 Monday night.

“Had a couple of chances there and it was nice to get two goals tonight,” Gundstrom said. “I just try to stay open. It’s always fun to score.”

Gabriel Vilardi, Anze Kopitar and Arthur Kaliyev also scored for the Kings, who have won three of four. Jonathan Quick stopped 27 shots.

Alexey Toropchenko scored for St. Louis, which has lost five straight in regulation for the first time since Craig Berube took over as coach during the 2018-19 season.

“You gotta realize how tough it is to win in this league,” said Brayden Schenn. “And I don’t think we realize that right now.”

It is also the Blues’ worst skid since an 0-6-1 stretch from March 22 to April 5, 2021.

“We got outworked and outskated,” Berube said. “Not hungry enough, not desperate enough. They gotta want to dig in and play a lot harder than that. I mean, we’re not playing good hockey.”

Jordan Binnington started for St. Louis but was pulled midway through the second period after giving up five goals on 19 shots. Thomas Greiss came on and stopped all 11 shots he faced.

Los Angeles went up 1-0 when Vilardi tipped in the puck from the right side off a pass from Kevin Fiala with 6:48 left in the first.

The Kings pulled away with four goals in the first 10 minutes of the second. The first two goals looked the same. Grundstrom scored on a backdoor tip-in at 3:44 and Kpoitar followed with a tip-in goal at 5:06 that caused the Blues fan to boo loudly.

“Well, you’ve got to take what you’re given,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “I think early in the year, we were forcing some stuff and still getting rewarded. Tonight, we took what was there. You have to read quick and take what’s there. Our team did a better job tonight on that than we have.”

Kaliyev scored a power-play goal on a wrist shot at 7:39 and Grundstrom scored his second goal at 9:59 for a 5-0 lead, ending Binnington’s night.

Toropchenko got the Blues on the scoreboard when he poked in the puck on a rebound of his own shot 43 seconds later.

Opponents have outscored the Blues 25-8 during their losing streak.

“We just need to compete,” St. Louis defenseman Justin Faulk said. “It’s not much, not enough effort from our group and that’s the bottom line. We need to find ways to get the energy to just compete, that’s all there is to it. There’s nothing else. Turnovers, whatever else there is, it all stems from not playing a hard enough game.”

SCORING TWO

Grundstrom had his second career two-goal game. The first came last Nov. 27 in a 4-2 win against Ottawa.

SPOTTED

St. Louis Cardinals manger Oliver Marol was shown on the videoboard taking in the game.

MILESTONES

RW Vladimir Tarasenko played in his 614th game with the Blues, passing Hall of Famer Al MacInnis and tying Bob Plager for 12th most in franchise history. … McLellan notched his 100th victory as the Kings coach. “I wasn’t even aware of it. The next 100 will be a lot tougher than the first 100,” McLellan said. “I’m only worried about 101 which is tomorrow night in Dallas.”

INJURIES

Kings: C Quinton Byfield (illness) is listed day to day. … LW Alex Iafallo (lower body) was out.

Blues: LW Brandon Saad (upper-body) is listed day to do. He has missed the past four games. … D Marco Scandella (hip) and D Scott Perunovich (shoulder) were out.

UP NEXT

Kings: At Dallas on Tuesday night.

Blues: Host New York Islanders on Thursday night.

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