Jimmy Carson took it upon himself to inject some firepower into the Kings' offense Saturday night.
Carson scored three goals, including two in the first 1 minute 32 seconds, and teammate Luc Robitaille added a career-high three assists as the Kings beat the St. Louis Blues, 4-2, before a crowd of 9,619 at the Forum.
Limited to only one shot in the Kings' 4-1 loss to the New York Islanders Thursday night, Carson made sure that if he got only one against the Blues, he would make the most of it.
He made his first shot.
Fifty seconds later, he made his second.
"I came to the game with a much more intense attitude tonight," Carson said. "I said, 'I've got to play a good game. That's all there is to it. I've got to concentrate.'
"When I got two quick ones like that, I knew it was my night."
A third Carson goal in the second period prompted a few fans to throw their hats onto the ice, signaling Carson's first career hat trick.
Coach Mike Murphy of the Kings called it an exceptional night for his No. 1 line of Carson, Robitaille and Dave Taylor, saying the trio was "dangerous" every time it was on the ice.
But while appreciative of its contributions, Murphy had other things on his mind.
Center Bernie Nicholls was slashed by Doug Gilmour of the Blues in the first period, broke his left index finger and will be out for three to four weeks.
And Murphy, who stressed defense throughout training camp, seemed more excited about what happened after Carson had completed his hat trick.
Carson's third goal at 7:15 of the second period put the Kings ahead, 3-2, and they shut down the Blues the rest of the way, twice killing power plays before Jay Wells added the Kings' final goal with 15:20 remaining.
"At the end of the game, we really wanted to win it and we knew how to win it," Murphy said. "We put the puck deep and kept checking and giving them very little. We were holding people up and keeping them away from the puck.
"And when you play that style of play, it makes it tough for a team to get back in it. They've got to get something lucky."
The Blues never did.
The weary Blues, who ended a 1-7-1 exhibition season with four straight road games and haven't been home since Sept. 29, took an 0-2 record with them to St. Louis.
The defending Norris Division champions were sluggish in their opener Thursday night, failing to get a shot on goal in the first 11 1/2 minutes and losing at Vancouver, 8-2.
They got behind early against the Kings, too, getting burned twice by Carson in the first 1 1/2 minutes.
Murphy had indicated to General Manager Rogie Vachon before the game that he might mix up his lines, but Murphy said he started Carson opposite Sean McKenna and Dave (Tiger) Williams only in the hope that McKenna and Williams would provide a spark.
Also, he said, he was concerned about his No. 1 line's "soft" plays in the Kings' zone against the Islanders.
Forty-two seconds into the game, his move looked brilliant as Carson took a pass in the left circle from defenseman Steve Duchesne and fired a shot past St. Louis goaltender Rick Wamsley.
Then, when Taylor and Robitaille came on for the line shift, Carson stayed on the ice.
Fifty seconds later, King defenseman Mark Hardy back-handed a shot from the right side that deflected off Robitaille and was kicked out by Wamsley. Carson, standing to the left of the net, put the puck into the net.
He remained on the line with Taylor and Robitaille the rest of the way.
Wamsley stopped everything else the Kings threw at him in the period, making several notable saves as the Kings outshot the Blues in the first 12 minutes, 12-2, and in the period, 14-9.
The Blues then tied the game on goals by rookie Tony Hrkac and Tony McKegney in the first 5 1/2 minutes of the second period.
Carson's most spectacular goal, scored from the slot as he fell to the ice, was set up by a pass from behind the St. Louis net by Robitaille.
The power-play goal gave the Kings a 3-2 lead with 12:45 left in the second period.