Los Angeles Kings' Anze Kopitar (11) celebrates with goaltender Cam...

Los Angeles Kings' Anze Kopitar (11) celebrates with goaltender Cam Talbot after Talbot's 5-0 shutout of the Chicago Blackhawks in an NHL hockey game Friday, March 15, 2024, in Chicago. Credit: AP/Charles Rex Arbogast

CHICAGO — Anze Kopitar scored two of Los Angeles' four goals in the first period, and the Kings beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-0 on Friday night.

Pierre-Luc Dubois, Alex Laferriere and Jordan Spence each had a goal and an assist to help Los Angeles rebound from a 3-1 loss at St. Louis on Wednesday. The Kings strengthened their hold on third place in the Pacific Division and a Western Conference playoff spot.

“Two points in October are the same as two points in March, but you can really see the difference two points can mean in the standings,” Dubois said. “Still a lot of hockey to be played, but we're happy with a result like tonight.”

Cam Talbot made 28 saves in his third shutout of the season and No. 31 for his career.

“It was great to get off to the lead, but what we saw was Talbs had to make two or three big saves early,” Kings interim coach Jim Hiller said. “So credit the goalie there and nice to see the puck go in for us.”

Kopitar, the Kings' 36-year-old captain, recorded his 19th and 20th goals off pinpoint cross-ice passes by 21-year-old Quinton Byfield. He reached the 20-goal mark for the 13th time in 18 seasons.

Kopitar, the Kings' career leader in games played (1,358) and assists (783), almost added another goal when he was on a 2-on-1 in the second period, but he decided to pass.

Chicago Blackhawks' Ryan Donato (8) is unable to get a...

Chicago Blackhawks' Ryan Donato (8) is unable to get a clean shot on goal and falls to the ice as Los Angeles Kings' Mikey Anderson (44) defends during the second period of an NHL hockey game Friday, March 15, 2024, in Chicago. Credit: AP/Charles Rex Arbogast

“He’s willing to distribute," Hiller said. “He's a selfless player. Nice to see him get a couple himself.”

Adrian Kempe had two assists for Los Angeles, which is 6-0-2 in its last eight games against Chicago dating to November 2019.

The Kings chased Chicago goalie Arvid Soderblom with 3:41 left in the first period after connecting on four of 14 shots. Petr Mrazek relieved and blocked 22 of 23 shots.

The last-place Blackhawks were blanked for the 10th time after winning two straight games for only the second time this season. Chicago scored 14 goals in the back-to-back victories.

Los Angeles Kings' Kevin Fiala (22) handles the puck as...

Los Angeles Kings' Kevin Fiala (22) handles the puck as Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Petr Mrazek (34) and Jarred Tinordi defend during the second period of an NHL hockey game Friday, March 15, 2024, in Chicago. Mrazek was called for slashing on the play. Credit: AP/Charles Rex Arbogast

“They really played well and they're a big, heavy team,” Blackhawks coach Luke Richardson said. "We had a hard time, you know, winning puck battles and I think that was a big difference tonight.

“We just didn't have the puck enough, and when we did, we were tired.”

Dubois played in his 500th game. Spence, a defenseman, scored his first goal this season in 55 games.

Blackhawks prospect Landon Slaggert played in his first pro game. The 21-year-old forward was selected in the third round of the 2020 draft.

After the loss, Chicago recalled forward Lukas Reichel from Rockford of the AHL and assigned forward Zach Sanford to its top minor league affiliate. Reichel was the 17th overall pick in the 2020 draft.

The Kings connected three times in a span of just under five minutes early in the first period.

Dubois scored his 15th goal 3:10 into the game, taking advantage of a power-play opportunity. Spence’s wide shot from the slot bounced off the backboards, and Dubois ripped in the puck from the left circle on a sharp angle.

Laferriere got his 10th at 5:33 on a mid-air deflection of Matt Roy’s drive from the top of the right circle.

Kopitar made it 3-0 at 8:03, firing into a wide-open net from the right circle after taking Byfield’s pass from the left side. Both the feed and Kopitar eluded Chicago rookies Connor Bedard and Kevin Korchinski.

Kopitar scored again at 14:09, this time from the left edge of the crease, after Byfield reached him with a nifty backhand pass from the right circle.

Spence made it 5-0 at 2:31 of the third when his shot from a sharp angle hit Mrazek and slithered in.

“We haven't had a lead like that,” Hiller said. “So I thought we did a pretty good job once we got into the intermission, the second and third (period) of not giving them too much outside of their power play.”

UP NEXT

Kings: At the Dallas Stars on Saturday night.

Blackhawks: Host the San Jose Sharks on Sunday night.

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