Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Kings' Winger Adrian Kempe Piling Up Goals against Canadian Teams

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Kings' Winger Adrian Kempe Piling Up Goals against Canadian Teams

Article excerpt

Kings' Kempe a scourge for Canadian teams


MONTREAL - Adrian Kempe insists he has nothing against Canadian-based NHL teams, it's just that he keeps scoring against them.

"Not really, no," the Los Angeles winger said Thursday before the Kings' 4-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. "After the last couple of games I've got more confidence out there, so I'm starting to play better."

The 21-year-old Swede has six goals in nine games this season -- four against Montreal and one each against Toronto and Ottawa. Plus a shootout winner against the Senators on Tuesday night.

"The team's been playing good all year," Kempe said. "The first couple of games I didn't play as good as I wanted, but then I stepped it up. I just try to make an impact every game, try to play my game and play the way the team wants to."

His six goals came in a five-game stretch that began with his first career hat trick against Montreal on Oct. 18, when he got the game-winner in the third period and then added two more in a 5-2 victory.

After going scoreless against Columbus, Kempe got one in a 3-2 loss in Toronto on Monday night. Against the Senators, he scored the tying goal late in the third period, then secured the win with a nifty deke to the forehand in the shootout.

On Thursday, he deflected in another game-winning goal against Montreal and picked up an assist.

Now the question is whether the speedy six-foot-two forward can keep it going. He was a good but hardly prolific scorer as a teenager playing in Sweden's top league, or in two seasons with the Ontario (California) Reign in the American Hockey League, where he had 23 goals in 101 games.

He was called up for the Kings' final 25 games last season and scored twice -- against Washington and Buffalo.

"I don't know if he'll produce at the rate he has but he's got really good speed and skill," said Kings coach John Stevens. "He's got a desire to get to the tough areas, so I don't see why he won't continue to have success with his skill set, his willingness to compete and go to the hard areas to score. …

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