LAS VEGAS — Newly named All-Star Kevin Fiala scored three goals Saturday night to help the Los Angeles Kings beat the Golden Knights 5-1 and edge closer to their Pacific Division rivals.
Fiala was named an All-Star on Thursday, but he had been in a goal-scoring dry spell. That ended Saturday night.
Fiala’s three goals pushed second-place Los Angeles to within four points of the Knights, the Pacific Division leaders; the Kings have 52 points, and the Knights have a game in hand. Plus, the Kings have won two of their three meetings, with one game between the teams left April 6 in Los Angeles.
“These games are very important,” Fiala said. “We want to keep climbing. They’re No. 1 right now, so that’s a huge game for us.”
Los Angeles also ended the Knights’ four-game home winning streak and three-game overall win streak.
“It should be a rival,” Knights coach Bruce Cassidy said. “It was probably the most disappointing game of the year for us when I look at our competitiveness from top to bottom.”
Fiala had his first multigoal game this season and second career hat trick. His other was April 7, 2021, against Colorado.
Until Saturday, Fiala had gone seven games without a goal and had just one goal in 14 games.
“Kevin was snakebit for a while,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “He’s off that now. Hopefully, things will start going in for him a little more regularly.”
Matt Roy and Viktor Arvidsson also scored for Los Angeles and Gabriel Vilardi had three assists. Arvidsson has two goals and five assists in his past six games.
Pheonix Copley made 19 saves for his eighth victory in nine games, but his one loss during that streak was a 5-2 defeat Thursday to the Boston Bruins.
“That was one of those games that we battled hard and, unfortunately, we didn’t win,” Copley said of the loss to the Bruins. “So to not let that get to us and to come out tonight and get a big win, that’s huge for us, and it definitely shows maturity.”
Copley came within 2:15 of his second career shutout before Jonathan Marchessault scored on a slap shot.
Fiala had an empty-netter, his 13th goal, with 1:27 remaining to complete his hat trick.
Los Angeles took control in the second period, scoring twice and holding the Knights to four shots on goal. Cassidy benched goalie Logan Thompson after that period and inserted Adin Hill.
Two key players returned to the Golden Knights after being out. Marchessault missed the previous six games because of a lower-body injury, and defenseman Alec Martinez returned after a four-absence after blocking a shot Dec. 27 against Los Angeles.
Marchessault is third on the team with 15 goals, and Martinez is the NHL leader with 133 blocked shots.