Game 65; 37-22-6
EDMONTON – It doesn’t seem like too long ago when the Los Angeles Kings couldn’t seem to buy a win (or a goal), but since returning from Sochi, the silver-and-black have been a perfect 6-0-0 thanks to their Sunday night win in Edmonton over the Oilers. More importantly, the Kings have won a season-high seven-straight games.
While the Oilers do sit at the bottom of the West standings, the Kings have had some difficulty beating teams below them in the standings – but no one reminded them of that prior to this contest. Instead, the Kings, like in every game since the Olympics, came out firing and just had everything working for them. Not even facing former teammate Ben Scrivens could faze them.
Los Angeles wasted no time setting the tone.
Just 1:36 into the game, Jeff Carter cashed in on his team-leading 23rd goal of the season to open the scoring. Tyler Toffoli, who has been on his own hot streak as of late, registered the assist. But the Oilers weren’t down for long.
At the 7:24 mark of the opening frame, Taylor Hall made an impressive move around Jonathan Quick beating him for his 22nd goal on the campaign. While they exited the first period tied, the Oilers were outshot 12-5. It seemed inevitable that the Kings would regain their lead – and it wouldn’t take long.
At the 8:49 mark of the second, Alec Martinez continued his own hot streak, snapping his seventh past Scrivens to put Los Angeles out in front again. Robyn Regehr and Dustin Brown added the assists. It was a lead the Kings would not relinquish.
Just 1:27 later, while on the power play, Los Angeles got some insurance as Jeff Carter potted his second of the night with Anze Kopitar and Slava Voynov registering the assists. But Carter wasn’t done there. While he was unable to complete the hat-trick, he did set up (and beautifully at that) Trevor Lewis with just over four minutes remaining in the second. So many Kings have been hot lately and Lewis wanted to join in on the fun. The goal was just his third of the year and first in 17 games.
Sam Gagner scored early in the third to cut the lead in half but that was all the Oilers could muster. The Kings were simply too strong and too relentless on this night, putting on a defensive clinic by preventing the Oilers from entering the offensive zone. While they did manage 27 shots, few were quality chances as the Oilers fall to the league’s hottest team.
Jonathan Quick shone in this one, making 25 saves to pull himself to within one win of Rogie Vachon’s franchise record of career wins by a goaltender at 171. Head coach Darryl Sutter meanwhile earns his 498th-career win passing Glen Sather and moving to within one win of his predecessor Terry Murray.
The former King Ben Scrivens was hands-down the best Oiler on this night as he stopped 46 shots in a losing effort. As for the current Kings, Carter, Toffoli, Brown and Martinez all continue to roll while Trevor Lewis hopes his goal will lead to a hot streak of his own.
There’s no rest for the wicked, though, as the Kings drive a few hours south for a Monday night affair in Calgary where they will wrap up their season series with the Flames.