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Adrian Kempe scores 4 goals as Kings blank Penguins

Adrian Kempe #9 of the Los Angeles Kings celebrates his hat trick goal with Anze Kopitar #11 and Quinton Byfield #55, his third goal of the period to take a 5-0 lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at Crypto.com Arena on February 11, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Adrian Kempe #9 of the Los Angeles Kings celebrates his second goal of the game with Mikey Anderson #44 and Quinton Byfield #55, to take a 4-0 lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins, during the second period at Crypto.com Arena on February 11, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Adrian Kempe #9 of the Los Angeles Kings plays a bouncing puck between Bryan Rust #17 and Mark Friedman #52 of the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at Crypto.com Arena on February 11, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Adrian Kempe #9 of the Los Angeles Kings celebrates his second goal of the game with Mikey Anderson #44 and Quinton Byfield #55, to take a 4-0 lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins, during the second period at Crypto.com Arena on February 11, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Jeff Petry #26 of the Pittsburgh Penguins looks to pass as he controls the puck from Drew Doughty #8 of the Los Angeles Kings during the first period at Crypto.com Arena on February 11, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Evgeni Malkin #71 of the Pittsburgh Penguins controls the puck from Alex Iafallo #19 of the Los Angeles Kings during the first period at Crypto.com Arena on February 11, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Adrian Kempe #9 of the Los Angeles Kings plays a bouncing puck between Bryan Rust #17 and Mark Friedman #52 of the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at Crypto.com Arena on February 11, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Drew Doughty #8 of the Los Angeles Kings reacts as he takes a check from Jeff Carter #77 of the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at Crypto.com Arena on February 11, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins collides with Drew Doughty #8 of the Los Angeles Kings during the first period at Crypto.com Arena on February 11, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Alex Iafallo #19 of the Los Angeles Kings celebrates his goal with the bench, to take a 2-0 lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at Crypto.com Arena on February 11, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Pheonix Copley #29 of the Los Angeles Kings makes a save on Rickard Rakell #67 of the Pittsburgh Penguins as Drew Doughty #8 attempts to clear the rebound during the first period at Crypto.com Arena on February 11, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Jaret Anderson-Dolan #28 of the Los Angeles Kings celebrates his goal with Alexander Edler #2 and Rasmus Kupari #89, to take a 1-0 lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins, during the first period at Crypto.com Arena on February 11, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Rickard Rakell #67 of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Mikey Anderson #44 of the Los Angeles Kings bump as they skate for the puck during the first period at Crypto.com Arena on February 11, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

General view of the Dustin Brown ceremony as his jersey number is retired and a statue of his likeliness is unveiled at the entrance of the arena before the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Crypto.com Arena on February 11, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Dustin Brown of the Los Angeles Kings speaks during a ceremony as his jersey number is retired and a statue of his likeliness is unveiled at the entrance of the arena before the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Crypto.com Arena on February 11, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Dustin Brown of the Los Angeles Kings reacts as he speaks during a ceremony as his jersey number is retired and a statue of his likeliness is unveiled at the entrance of the arena before the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Crypto.com Arena on February 11, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Dustin Brown of the Los Angeles Kings lifts the Stanley Cup during a ceremony as his jersey number is retired and a statue of his likeliness is unveiled at the entrance of the arena before the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Crypto.com Arena on February 11, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

General view of Dustin Brown and his family as a statue of himself is unveiled at the entrance of the arena before the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Crypto.com Arena on February 11, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Dustin Brown of the Los Angeles Kings lifts the Stanley Cup during a ceremony as his jersey number is retired and a statue of his likeliness is unveiled at the entrance of the arena before the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Crypto.com Arena on February 11, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Fans gather outside of the arena as Dustin Brown of the Los Angeles Kings will be honored as his jersey number is retired and a statue of his likeliness is unveiled at the entrance of the arena before the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Crypto.com Arena on February 11, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Dustin Brown of the Los Angeles Kings speaks as he is watched by Anze Kopitar #11, Drew Doughty #8 and Jonathan Quick #32 of the Los Angeles Kings during a ceremony as his jersey number is retired and a statue of his likeliness is unveiled at the entrance of the arena before the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Crypto.com Arena on February 11, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Dustin Brown poses with a statue of himself unveiled at the entrance of the arena before the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Crypto.com Arena on February 11, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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LOS ANGELES –– The Kings hadn’t lost a game that recently retired winger Dustin Brown attended all season, and they were certainly not about to snap that streak Saturday when his number ascended among those of his hallowed predecessors before the Kings eviscerated the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-0 at Crypto.com Arena.

After a rousing ceremony, a statue unveil and a surprise appearance by Lord Stanley’s Cup, winger Adrian Kempe extended his team-leading goal total to 26 by way of a natural hat trick and his first ever four-goal game, the first in franchise history since Brown did it on April 5, 2018. Kempe was the first King ever to pot four straight goals in a game.

“After watching the Dustin Brown ceremony and having the Stanley Cup come out, that puts a little, if you didn’t have a spark to play already, it put a little more into the game; the guys played well,” Coach Todd McLellan said after his group flipped the script against a team that beat them 6-1 in October.

Wingers Alex Iafallo and Jaret Anderson-Dolan also found the net for the Kings. Forward Rasmus Kupari, winger Kevin Fiala and defenseman Drew Doughty contributed two assists apiece, while center Anze Kopitar had three. Pheonix Copley earned his 16th victory and first shutout of the season by stopping 25 shots. Wingers Trevor Moore and Arthur Kaliyev also returned to action, emerging from the all-star break having recovered from injuries.

Pittsburgh’s Casey DeSmith started for the second straight night in lieu of the injured Tristan Jarry, but was relieved by Dustin Tokarski. They followed a 6-3 victory over the Ducks Friday with a disastrous 25-for-31 night in net during a game that was academic by its halfway point, not unlike the Kings’ clinching game of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final.

Kempe piled on another marker during a two-man advantage off a one-timer from the right circle with 4:51 to play, his second power-play goal of the night.

“It was one of those games where everything comes to you and everything goes in,” said Kempe, who said his energy level was not particularly high entering the contest.

While the Kings were busy working the phones ahead of the March 3 trade deadline –– Arizona defenseman Jakob Chychrun was scratched for trade protection reasons Saturday and the Kings remained among the frontrunners to land his services –– they already made one favorable swap midway through the third period. Defenseman Mikey Anderson cross-checked franchise center Sidney Crosby, who in turn earned a game misconduct penalty, ending his evening.

“I don’t know (what happened),” Crosby said. “I think it was Anderson who was going to the locker room and was saying something to me and then I kind of exchanged words, the next thing I know I got a 10(-minute misconduct). Can I really say what I think anyway?”

With 5:33 left in the second period, Kempe completed the first natural hat trick of his career, his third hat trick of any kind and his first three-goal game since March 8, 2021. During a power play, Kopitar connected on a pass from the right slot to the left post for Fiala, who slipped the puck across the crease to Kempe to send the fans’ fedoras flying. Kempe is now on pace for 38 goals, which would signify a career-best total for a second straight season.

He had struck twice earlier in the frame between the 1:58 and 5:18 marks. Anderson’s blocked shot cued a pulchritudinous rush where Kempe and Kopitar exchanged three cross-ice passes across three zones, culminating in a far-side goal for Kempe.

His prior goal also received a primary assist from Kopitar, who dropped a short pass to the inside of the left faceoff dot to facilitate Kempe’s roofted wrist shot to make it 3–0. Kopitar has compiled six points in his past two appearances.

The Kings had hauled a 2-0 lead from the first intermission.

With just over two minutes remaining in the first period, some dogged work along the boards by the Kings turned into an offensive opportunity when Fiala won the puck, twirled purposefully and whipped a pass to Kupari for a one-timer. Though the attempt banged off DeSmith’s blocker, Kupari recovered the puck and got it to Iafallo, who stuffed home a short-side shot for his eighth goal of the campaign.

Anderson-Dolan opened the scoring 2:28 into the match. A hectic sequence concluded with Anderson-Dolan tipping defenseman Alex Edler’s shot past DeSmith, the first of several lumps for the Pens’ netminders Saturday.

The victory was a team effort, reminiscent of the greatest stretch in franchise history, during which Brown led the Kings on the ice rather than inspiring them from the stands. He described the emotional component of that success and how it drove them to the highest peaks in hockey.

“The more we loved each other, the better we played, and the better we played, the more we loved each other,” Brown said.

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