LOS ANGELES — The way Jake DeBrusk’s season has been described at times, one might think he was having a sophomore slump of epic proportions.

A look at the numbers, though, shows he surpassed his rookie total in goals by scoring his 17th of the season in Los Angeles on Saturday night. The 22-year-old, while still 19 assists behind last season’s 27, has time to break his rookie point total of 43 if he makes a big push.

When the second-year winger gets hot, he piles up points in a hurry. He’s been saying it’ll just take one to go in the net to find his rhythm again, and that’s proving true. He has scored in three straight games.

If he’s busting out, DeBrusk couldn’t have picked a better time, with David Pastrnak missing at least the next two weeks.

“It’s nice. It’s something you try to do wherever you’re playing, you want to beat your goals,” DeBrusk said of matching his rookie goals total. “I have a long way to go for my assists, but it’s nice to have that done with. I have 20-something more games to get more.”

The Edmonton native had a run of 13 straight games without a goal, which he admitted was the longest stretch he could remember and was in his head a little, saying he felt “lost” on the ice at times.

Since he tipped one in against the Blackhawks at home, his game has changed. He’s buzzing up the wing and going to the net with authority.

Maybe all he did need was to put one in.

“I had some stretches last year similar to this year,” he said. “It seems when those stretches are going well, the more I’ve gotten this year. So it’s a matter of being in the right place at the right times and executing.”

AFTER BEING sidelined on three occasions during the past season-plus, Charlie McAvoy’s biggest goal was piecing together as many games in a row as possible.

Since his last bout with the injury bug at the start of January, the blueliner has played in 15 straight contests. He has a two goals and three assists in that time and has clearly impacted the defense-to-offense transition as he’s eased back into his role.

“Things are going well,” he said. “I’m confident in the way I’m playing. … When the team’s winning, it makes it a lot more fun, and you’re able to look at your game with a different perspective.”


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