Adrian Kempe, Kings start quickly, bury Blues 5-1

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Adrian Kempe scored a short-handed goal and also had an assist to highlight a four-goal first period for Los Angeles and Cam Talbot made 29 saves to lead the host Kings to a 5-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night.

Quinton Byfield, Blake Lizotte, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Kevin Fiala also scored for Los Angeles, which closed to within five points of the first-place Vegas Golden Knights in the Pacific Division with two games in hand. The Kings also improved to 8-1-2 over their last 11 games.

Talbot picked up his ninth victory (9-3-1), second in the league behind Colorado’s Alexandar Georgiev (10-4-0).

Jake Neighbours scored a goal and Jordan Binnington finished with 25 saves for St. Louis, which lost its second straight game.

Los Angeles scored twice in the first three minutes to take a 2-0 lead. Byfield got the first goal on a power play when he whacked in a rebound on his third try from in front of the crease for his third goal of the season.

Lizotte followed 19 seconds later with his fourth goal when he stole a pass below the right circle and put in a wrist shot inside the near post.

Kempe made it 3-0 at the 13:37 mark with his 10th career short-handed goal and eighth goal of the season when he roofed a backhand shot on a breakaway.

Dubois extended the lead to 4-0 just 1:43 later when he finished an odd-man rush with a one-timer from the right circle.

Fiala made it 5-0 with 24 seconds left in the second period when he broke down the slot, took a pass from Phillip Danault and fired a wrist shot past Binnington’s blocker side.

Neighbours spoiled Talbot’s bid for his second shutout of the season with 3:54 to go when he rushed down the left wing and fired a wrist shot into the top-left corner for his third goal of the season.