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Quinton Byfield scores highlight-reel goal in Kings' 5-1 victory over Blue Jackets

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Quinton Byfield's highlight-reel goal came at a perfect time for the Los Angeles Kings.

The Kings were sluggish in their first game back on home ice after a four-game East road trip, but Byfield's goal in the first period provided the momentum they needed as Los Angeles extended its winning streak to four with a 5-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night.

“I could have held a camera and filmed it. It was a beautiful goal," said linemate Pierre-Luc Dubois, who had his second two-goal game of the season.

Byfield, the second pick in the 2020 NHL draft, had one of the highlight goals of the season at 18:22 of the first period.

Byfield got the puck off the draw between Dubois and Boone Jenner in Columbus’ offensive zone. He quickly skated up ice but appeared to not have an angle to the net until he put the puck through Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski’s legs near the left faceoff circle in Los Angeles’ offensive zone.

Byfield regained possession when he kick passed the puck to his own stick, but got off balance as Boqvist put his stick out. Byfield though still had possession despite being on one knee and put a backhand past Merzlikins’ glove for his 18th goal of the season.

“I was just kind of picking up the puck off the faceoff. I saw I had a lot of speed," said Byfield, who has six goals and 12 points in his last 10 games. "I thought I was going to take Werenski on the outside and he tried to cut me off there. So, I just tried to take it to the middle. Saw the puck sitting there and just tried to do what I could to get the net and ended up working out.”

Drew Doughty had a goal and an assist during the last five minutes of the third period, giving him his 14th career 30-point season. That is tied with Pittsburgh's Kris Letang and Dallas' Ryan Suter for the most among active defensemen.

Kevin Fiala also scored for the Kings, who have won five of six since Jim Hiller took over as interim coach.

Cam Talbot stopped 33 shots. He also had an assist on Dubois' first goal, which is his second of the season and sixth of his career.

Adam Boqvist scored for Columbus and Elvis Merzlikins made 31 saves. The Blue Jackets, who are last in the Eastern Conference, have dropped three of their last four.

“We had 20 shots that were blocked, which is a high number, and 12 that we missed the net. Too many times we missed the net when we were in position to score, and we need to fix that," Columbus interim coach Pascal Vincent said. "At the end of the day, I think the physical maturity of the LA Kings was evident.”

Both of Dubois' goals came in the second period. He gave the Kings a 2-0 advantage at 1:27 on the power play when he got a deflection off the boards and fired it past Merzlikins.

After Boqvist scored his first of the season with a backhand that went in off Talbot's skate at 4:41, Dubois made it 3-1 when he put in a wrist shot in front of the net after getting the pass from Byfield.

“The first game back from the road trip is always really tough and it wasn’t pretty at times. Talbot was huge for us tonight, the penalty killing was great. I think that’s what made the difference for us these last couple games,” said Dubois, whose game is picking up with three goals in the past six games.

Fiala extended his point streak against Columbus to eight straight games at 15:56 of the third period with a power-play goal. He has three goals and 11 points against the Blue Jackets during the run. Doughty made it 5-1 with 23 seconds remaining in the game on a slap shot.

Kings' forward Viktor Arvidsson suffered a lower-body injury in the first period and did not return. It was only his fourth game this season after he underwent back surgery in October.

“They did a good job. We won the game. What was difficult is we came off a tough stretch on the road,. That’s not a game where you want to be down to 11 quickly. We tried to spread it around a little bit,” Hiller said.

UP NEXT

Blue Jackets: Remain in Southern California to face the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night.

Kings: Host the Nashville Predators on Thursday night.

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AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl

Joe Reedy, The Associated Press