Dustin Brown's hat trick leads Kings to 8-3 romp over Canucks
Dustin Brown, frustrated by Roberto Luongo in the Olympic gold-medal game between the U.S. and Canada just over a month ago, got a small measure of revenge Thursday.
Brown recorded the second hat trick of his career and added an assist for a career-best four points as the Kings routed a shaky Luongo and the ineffective Canucks, 8-3, before an appreciative crowd at Staples Center. Jack Johnson, Brown's teammate on the U.S. Olympic squad, also had a strong game with two crucial assists.
Kings goaltender Jonathan Bernier wasn't often challenged in winning his second straight game since his call-up from Manchester of the American Hockey League. His teammates gave him ample offensive support, scoring three times in the first, twice in the second and three times in the third.
The Kings' magic number for clinching a playoff spot is four: if they earn four points or ninth-place Calgary fails to earn four, the Kings will advance to the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since 2002.
More later at www.latimes.com/sports
-- Helene Elliott
Photo: Kings right wing Dustin Brown (23) is congratulated by left wing Ryan Smyth after scoring the second of his three goals Thursday night against Vancouver. Credit: Harry How / Getty Images