Revisiting LA Kings Players with Four Goal Games
On Feb. 28, 2023, LA Kings captain Anze Kopitar scored four goals in a 6-5 win over the Winnipeg Jets to secure the second four-goal game of his legendary career. Furthermore, thanks to his outstanding effort in the game, Kopitar became just the fifth player in club history to have two such games on his resume.
Although no Kings player has ever scored five goals in a game, there have been 15 other players who tallied four in one contest. Coincidentally, scoring that many goals in a game is unique, so it wouldn’t surprise anyone that some of the names on this list are some of the franchise’s best players.
Ultimately there could have been a few different ways to tackle this list; however, we must start with the best performances and work our way down.
Marcel Dionne (3) – Jan. 13, 1979, Oct. 23, 1979, & Nov. 18, 1981
Marcel Dionne came to the LA Kings in 1975 and is considered one of the franchise’s best players, along with Dave Taylor and Wayne Gretzky. Furthermore, he remains the Kings’ all-time leading scorer 36 years after leaving in a trade.
In his first four-goal game in January 1979, he tallied his goals on just six shots in a wild 7-3 win over his former team, the Detroit Red Wings, at the Detroit Olympia arena. During his second four-goal game nine months later, in October 1979, Dionne tallied twice on the power play in a 7-4 thumping of the Colorado Rockies at McNichols Sports Arena.
Interestingly, Dionne burnt his former team, the Red Wings, one more time in November 1981 when he was responsible for half of the team’s offense in an 8-1 thrashing at the Great Western Forum.
Anze Kopitar (2) – Mar. 22, 2018 & Feb. 28, 2023
The current captain of the Kings is one of the most talented players ever to wear the crown jersey and remains one of the two players left from the Stanley Cup-winning teams of 2012 and 2014. Furthermore, the face of the franchise is quietly climbing the all-time leaderboards and will undoubtedly have his number retired when he hangs it up.
It took 11 seasons, but Kopitar’s first four-goal game came in March 2018 against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center in a 7-1 win. Then, five years later, on a cold night on February 2023 in Winnipeg, Kopitar powered the Kings’ offense to a 6-5 shootout win over the Jets at Canada Life Centre. Interestingly, he scored a power-play goal in both contests.
Luc Robitaille (2) – Feb. 6, 1992 & Nov. 25, 1993
As the all-time Kings goal scorer with 557 lamp lighters, Luc Robitaille collected two four-goal games and was the last player to achieve the feat for a generation. Surprisingly, he was the only player in the 1990s to score four goals in a game, which included overlapping years with Gretzky.
Interestingly, Robitaille collected both those games against franchises that have since relocated. During a game against the Hartford Whalers in February 1992, Lucky Luc scored a power play and a penalty shot goal on top of two even-strength goals in a 5-5 tie. Then, a year later, against the Quebec Nordiques, he scored four power-play goals in an ugly 8-6 loss at Quebec Coliseum.
Bernie Nicholls (2) – Oct. 20, 1983 & Nov. 13, 1984
When anyone looks at the history of the Kings, outside of the hardcore fans, very few people would remember that Bernie Nicholls is the single-season leader with 70 goals. Surprisingly, he collected his two four-goal games four years before that magical season in 1988-89.
Almost 40 years ago, Nicholls led the Kings in a 7-2 upset win over the Edmonton Oilers in October 1983, scoring a shorthanded goal among his four of the night at the Great Western Forum. Then, a year later, he collected two power-play goals at Quebec Coliseum to account for 80% of the Kings’ offense in a 5-4 win over the Nordiques in November 1984.
Mike Murphy (2) – Jan. 22, 1976 & Oct. 27, 1979
Mike Murphy played 12 seasons in the NHL and spent ten with the Kings from 1973 to 1983, scoring 194 goals and 457 points in 673 games. Although he only scored 30 goals in a season one time (1975), he managed two four-goal games with the club.
In January 1976, against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Murphy tallied the Kings’ first goal of the contest and capped the night off with a natural hat trick in the third period to secure a 6-3 win at Great Western Forum. Then, three years later, in October 1979, Murphy tallied a shorthanded goal against the Maple Leafs in Los Angeles to power the Kings to a 7-5 win.
Serge Bernier – Dec. 24, 1972
On Christmas Eve in 1972, Serge Bernier became the first Kings player to collect four goals against the California Golden Seals. Moreover, he opened the game with a natural hat trick and had the first four goals for the Kings, who won the contest 5-3. During his six-year career, Bernier played 101 games in a LA uniform.
Butch Goring – Mar. 1, 1975
Butch Goring won four Stanley Cup titles as a member of the New York Islanders; however, he spent the first 11 years of his career in LA. During a 7-4 win over the Minnesota North Stars, Goring tallied the first three goals en route to his first career four-goal game. Although he found success in New York, he played most of his career in Los Angeles with 736 games.
Syl Apps – Dec. 21, 1977
Syl Apps may have played his best hockey with the Pittsburgh Penguins, but he did have one impressive game during his short 201-game stint with the Kings. During an 8-1 blowout win over the North Stars, Apps had the last four goals for LA during the second and third periods, resulting in his final hat trick in the NHL.
Charlie Simmer – Nov. 1, 1980
Charlie Simmer was a 14-year NHL veteran who scored 342 career goals with back-to-back 56-goal campaigns in 1979 and 1980. During a contest against the New York Islanders, Simmer collected two power-play goals en route to a Kings 7-3 win at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Dave Taylor – Mar. 14, 1981
Dave Taylor was a loyal member of the Kings organization for 17 seasons, never departing to chase a Stanley Cup ring. During his illustrious career, he scored nine hat tricks and collected only one four-goal game, a 10-4 win against the North Stars, in his fourth season in 1981.
Ian Turnbull – Dec. 12, 1981
Ian Turnbull played only 42 games with the Kings and tallied 11 goals during his tenure. Interestingly, he scored four goals in just one game during a 7-5 win against the Vancouver Canucks. Moreover, he remains the only player in club history to tally that many goals in a contest and spend less than a season in LA.
Brian MacLellan – Nov. 3, 1983
Brian MacLellan broke into the NHL with the Kings, playing four seasons and collecting a four-goal game against the Philadelphia Flyers in 1983. During a 6-5 win, he accounted for 66% of the team’s offense that night as LA held off the Flyers in a penalty-filled game. Additionally, he won a Stanley Cup in 1989 with the Calgary Flames and added another four-goal game to his resume in 1990.
Jimmy Carson – Mar. 30, 1988
Jimmy Carson played in the NHL for ten seasons and spent two stints with the Kings, scoring a career-high 55 goals in 1987-88. Interestingly, in the final regular season contest, he exploded for four goals against the Flames as the Kings ended the campaign with a 9-7 win. Although he finished with ten career hat tricks, he had only one four-goal game.
Dustin Brown – Apr. 5, 2018
Even though Dustin Brown is the only captain in team history to hoist the Stanley Cup and is the latest player to have his number retired, he is one of 15 players to register a four-goal game. During a 5-4 win over the Minnesota Wild at Staples Center, he became the first Kings player to tally four goals in a game in the new rink. Furthermore, Brown opened the scoring in that unique game and closed it out by securing the game-winner in overtime.
Adrian Kempe – Feb. 11, 2023
Adrian Kempe has spent his entire seven-year career in a Kings’ uniform and made history in February 2023 when he became the first player in team history to score four straight goals. During a 6-0 blowout win over the Penguins, Kempe took the first penalty of the contest, then erupted for the last four goals, with two of them coming on the man advantage. Interestingly, Kempe became the 20th Swedish player to register four goals in a game.