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Leafs hold off Kings 3-2 for 4th straight road win

Nikolai Kulemin scored the tiebreaking goal with 15:02 to play, James Reimer made 30 saves, and the Toronto Maple Leafs won their fourth straight road game, 3-2 over the spiraling Los Angeles Kings on Monday night.

Phil Kessel and Darryl Boyce scored 34 seconds apart in the second period for the Maple Leafs, who reached the midway point of their season with three straight wins. Toronto hasn't lost on the road since Dec. 18.

Wayne Simmonds and Michal Handzus scored for the Kings, who have lost six of seven — including five of six on their current eight-game homestand.

Jonathan Quick stopped 25 shots, but the Kings missed several chances to tie it in the final minutes, including a 6-on-4 advantage in the final 1:42.

Kulemin put the Leafs ahead with a nifty spin and a short shot past Quick after the Kings broke down defensively. With an assist from linemate Mikhail Grabovski, the goal was the third in two games for Kulemin, who leads the Leafs with four game-winning goals.

After Phaneuf took a late slashing penalty, Los Angeles got the puck behind Reimer with 35 seconds left, but video review confirmed it didn't cross the goal line.

Colby Armstrong had an assist while starting at center for the Maple Leafs just three days after the cornea in his right eye was scratched by a sucker-punch from Atlanta's Ben Eager.

Staples Center was filled with hundreds of blue-jerseyed fans for Toronto's first visit to Los Angeles since December 2008.

The Kings took a 1-0 lead late in the first period when Simmonds got the puck in the corner and skated past Toronto captain Dion Phaneuf to the net, scoring his first goal since Dec. 26 and his first point in eight games.

Toronto evened it early in the second period when Boyce got a 1-on-1 break against Kings defenseman Alec Martinez. Boyce's exceptional shot went between Martinez's legs and into the glove-side corner of Los Angeles' net for his second goal in six games since joining the Leafs on Dec. 30.

One shift later, Joey Crabb's pass through the slot went past Kings defensemen Rob Scuderi and Drew Doughty to Kessel, who scored his team-leading 18th goal. Los Angeles tied it late in the second period on the sixth goal by Handzus.

NOTES: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman attended the game during his swing through California. He reiterated the NHL's reluctance to host an outdoor Winter Classic in Los Angeles, but suggested the Kings could get a shot to be the visiting team in an upcoming Classic, perhaps in New York. ... Kings LW Alexei Ponikarovsky faced the Leafs for the first time this season. He spent his first nine NHL seasons with Toronto, getting 257 points in 447 games, before being traded to Pittsburgh last season. ... New Kings F Marco Sturm instigated a fight with Toronto C Tim Brent in the third period after Brent sent Jarret Stoll crashing to the ice with a knee-on-knee hit. Neither Sturm nor Brent had a previous fighting major all season, but they shouted insults at each other while the linesmen led them to the penalty box. Sturm received 17 minutes in penalties, but Toronto didn't get a power play because Brent was called for kneeing.