Kempe scores in overtime to give Kings a 3-2 victory over the Canadiens

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MONTREAL — A highlight-reel goal by Adrian Kempe gave Los Angeles a 3-2 overtime victory over Montreal on Tuesday night and extended the Kings' winning streak to six games.

Kempe circled around the Montreal zone with the puck before beating Jake Evans along the boards and tucking the puck past Jake Allen at 3:39 for the victory.

“For (Kempe) to be able to control the puck, get across the net like that and make that, it’s huge,” said Kings goaltender Cal Peterson, who made 33 saves. “He’s one of the guys that we count on in those overtime situations.

"He has plenty of handling moves like that so we count on him to do that and he comes through.”

Brendan Lemieux and Alex Iafallo had the other goals for the Kings (7-5-1). Ben Chiarot and Jake Evans scored for Montreal (3-10-1) while Allen made 31 saves.

Montreal had a late power-play chance when former Habs forward Phillip Danault took a holding penalty with 2:12 to go in regulation, but the Canadiens couldn't capitalize.

“We obviously wanted the two points,” said head coach Dominique Ducharme. “They took an early lead in the third period but we came back with a big goal from Jake. We had good chances around the net in the third period with (Mike Hoffman) and (Nick Suzuki) but we need to be difference-makers in those moments.”

The Canadiens fell to 1-2-1 on their five-game homestand. With only three wins in 14 games this season, last season's Stanley Cup finalists are searching for answers.

“Last year was one of the most fun years I've had and there's still a lot left in this year but it's been one of the more frustrating ones,” said Evans. "We work so hard in practice, we work so hard in games, we're a tight team.

"Everyone would take a bullet for each other. So we've just got to get back to it.”

Danault did not record a point in his first game at Bell Centre since signing with the Kings as a free agent. He got a standing ovation after a special presentation in the first period but was also booed almost every time he had the puck.

"Playing in front of the Montreal crowd was a great honour and it was very emotional,” he said.

The Canadiens opened the scoring at 15:03 of the first period when Chiarot scored after a scramble.

“I think we came out really excited in the first, we were focused and ready to go,” said Evans. "I think the past few days we've had some really good starts and I think we kind of let off the gas a little bit.”

Los Angeles pulled even at 4:56 of the second period when Lemieux beat Allen with a powerful shot in the top left corner. The Kings took a 2-1 lead just six seconds into the third period.

Iafallo broke down the side after the opening faceoff and fooled Allen with a wrist shot. Evans tied the game at 13:22 of the third after beating Tobias Bjornfoot with a nifty move near the faceoff circle.

Los Angeles was coming off a 5-1 victory in Toronto a night earlier.

“(The) good thing for us is that we found a way to win on back-to-back nights,” said Kings head coach Todd McLellan. “The gas tank was running low but there was enough in it to win.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 9, 2021.

Tristan D'Amours, The Canadian Press

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