LOS ANGELES — The Devils battled to force overtime, but it wasn’t enough in the end.
Alex Iafallo quickly scored in the extra session Friday night to give the Los Angeles Kings their fourth straight win, 3-2 over the New Jersey Devils.
Arthur Kaliyev scored a power-play goal, Adrian Kempe also had a goal and Calvin Petersen made 21 saves for the Kings, who had gone 0-5-1 prior to their first winning streak of the season.
“Not a Picasso, but it’s points,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said.
Pavel Zacha tied it up with 24 seconds remaining in the third period to salvage a point for the Devils, who have lost three straight. Jesper Bratt had a goal, and Mackenzie Blackwood made 26 saves in his season debut after undergoing surgery on his heel in June.
“We got to play like that every night,” New Jersey defenseman Damon Severson said. “We’re gonna give ourselves a chance to win.”
After Zacha beat Petersen over his left shoulder with a wrist shot from the right circle, the Kings recovered to win it on a one-timer in the slot by Iafallo, who has four goals and three assists during a five-game point streak.
It was the second straight game where Los Angeles won despite giving up a tying goal in the last minute of regulation. St. Louis scored with nine seconds remaining in the Kings’ 3-2 shootout win on Wednesday.
“I think we’d all prefer the simpler win, where it’s not in overtime or anything like that, but we don’t always get what we want,” McLellan said. “To deal with adversity has been a good thing for our team during the streak, finding ways to win. It would be easy to get down. We find ways to stick with it, so there’s a lot of good things that are evolving. It’s just a matter of sustaining them now.”
The Kings had three power-play opportunities in the third before finally cashing in on Kaliyev’s wrist shot through traffic with about four minutes left to go up 2-1. It was his second straight game with a goal and third in his past four.
All three penalties were committed by Severson, who had been elevated to the top pairing after Dougie Hamilton sustained a lower-body injury against Anaheim on Tuesday that kept him from facing Los Angeles.
“Yeah, like, we should have won that game,” Severson said. “We played a good game, and it sucks being the guy that unfortunately took the penalty to lead to the go-ahead goal. Great job by our guys to get the tying goal. Unfortunately, lost in overtime.”
Bratt scored on a breakaway off Andreas Johnsson’s stretch pass to tie it at 1 at 3:19 of the third period. Johnsson threaded his pass in behind two Kings in the neutral zone to set up Bratt’s second goal.
Kempe put the Kings ahead with two seconds left in the second period, tapping in Dustin Brown’s pass through the crease. Severson was at the top of the paint but left Kempe alone at the far post to score for the second straight game. He has two goals and two assists during a three-game point streak.
Blackwood said he didn’t feel completely healthy, but it was hard to tell as he made several difficult saves, including denying Kings captain Anze Kopitar on a backhand off the rush in the first period.
“I was pretty happy with how it held up,” Blackwood said. “I wasn’t really sure how it would be for a full game, but it was good enough to get me through the whole time without limiting me, so I was really happy with that.”
Devils coach Lindy Ruff expects to be cautious with Blackwood’s workload, which means Jonathan Bernier should continue to be heavily involved in net.
Devils forward Alexander Holtz, the seventh overall pick in the 2020 draft, made his NHL debut and played 15 minutes and 25 seconds. … Hamilton was able to participate in an optional skate on Friday morning.
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