Los Angeles

Game Recap

Kings down Oilers 4-1, take Pacific lead

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:50 AM


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Kings down Oilers 4-1, take Pacific lead
Los Angeles Kings 4, Edmonton Oilers 1
Three Stars of the Game
Mike Richards
G: 1Shots: 4
A: 0Hits: 0
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 20:01
Anze Kopitar
G: 1Shots: 1
A: 1Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 2
+/-: 2TOI: 18:30
Dwight King
G: 0Shots: 1
A: 2Hits: 2
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 2TOI: 15:11
Call them the first-place Los Angeles Kings -- at least for a night.

The Kings jumped over Dallas and into the top spot in the Pacific Division as Anze Kopitar had a goal and an assist in a methodical 4-1 victory in Edmonton on Friday night. The win, combined with Dallas' 5-2 loss at Vancouver, moved Los Angeles one point ahead of Dallas and Phoenix and two in front of San Jose with eight days remaining in the season. The division winner gets the third seed in the West when the playoffs start on April 11.

"You're looking at the standings, but you're just trying to get ready for the day-to-day, getting ready to play games," Kings captain Dustin Brown said. "We all understand that if we win our games and take care of our business, we have a good opportunity to finish in third."

The Kings, who began the day in eighth place in the West, also got goals by Mike Richards, Drew Doughty and Alec Martinez while limiting Edmonton (31-38-9) to 14 shots against Jonathan Quick.

"We were flat, we didn't respond like we needed to," Oilers coach Tom Renney said after his team lost for the second time in three nights. "[We needed to] play hard, get in their grill."

Both teams got off to a fast start, but only the Kings (39-27-12) were able to build on it.

Los Angeles scored on its first shot of the game when Dwight King's long shot was tipped by Kopitar through the legs of goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin just 52 seconds after the opening faceoff.

Edmonton got that goal back at 1:34 on the power play as Jordan Eberle snapped a shot from the right faceoff dot that went just inside of the post past Quick. It was Eberle's 33rd goal of the season; rookie Ryan Nugent-Hopkins assisted for his 50th point.

L.A. went ahead to stay midway through the period while killing a penalty. Oilers defenseman Jeff Petry missed a puck at the point on an Edmonton power play and Richards raced in on a breakaway before lifting a backhander shot past Khabibulin.

With linemate Jeff Carter sidelined with an injury, Richards was among the Kings who had to step up his game.

"It was a big game for us, after the schedule we've had," Richards said. "We didn't want to come in here and take them lightly. You put the onus on the older guys to play well and take a step forward, and I thought our leaders led tonight, starting with Brownie and [Matt Greene] and right through, with Kopi and everyone else."

The Kings outshot Edmonton 9-2 in the first period, then took a 3-1 lead at 6:44 of the second when Doughty's power-play point shot hit the stick of a defender and deflected into the net.

The Oilers found themselves with just four defensemen midway through the second after Petry took a puck in the face and joined Ladislav Smid in the dressing room. Smid suffered a neck injury late in the first.

"He went for a cat scan to see if there's any fracture," Renney said of Petry. "So far it looks good, it's just precautionary."

Quick made big glove stops on Nugent-Hopkins and Andy Sutton late in the second, and Martinez pumped home a rebound 7:45 into the third for some insurance.

"He made two big saves at the end of the second," coach Darryl Sutter said of Quick. "It was that kind of a game. They're playing for different reasons. A bunch of young guys, and we're trying to stay with it and he made two big saves there."

Edmonton has been out of the playoff race for weeks, but Brown said the Kings did a good job of not taking the Oilers for granted -- a trap they'll have to avoid again Saturday night in Minnesota against another non-playoff team.

"At this point in the year, a team like the Oilers is a very dangerous team. They have nothing to play for and they have a lot of high skill," he said. "It's a playoff game for us, so we had to play hard and kind of get on them early, and we did a good job of playing a physical game and just jumping on them from the get-go."

Material from team media was used in this report
scoring summary
1st Period
Anze Kopitar (25) ASST: Dwight King (7), Dustin Brown (29)
1 - 0 LAK
PPG - Jordan Eberle (33) ASST: Jeff Petry (22), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (32)
1 - 1 Tie
SHG - Mike Richards (17) ASST: Willie Mitchell (15), Matt Greene (10)
2 - 1 LAK
2nd Period
PPG - Drew Doughty (10) ASST: Justin Williams (36), Anze Kopitar (44)
3 - 1 LAK
3rd Period
Alec Martinez (5) ASST: Matt Greene (11), Dwight King (8)
4 - 1 LAK
Power Play Stats
Power Plays1/61/3
Power Play %19.1%20.2%
% on Road22.2%20.5%
% at Home17.1%20.0%
League Rank16th12th
penalty summary
1st Period
Matt Greene  Hooking against  Ryan Smyth
Sam Gagner  Holding against  Drew Doughty
Anze Kopitar  Tripping against  Jordan Eberle
Ryan Jones  Roughing against  Jarret Stoll
2nd Period
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins  Hooking against  Mike Richards
Justin Williams  Interference on goalkeeper against  Nikolai Khabibulin
Andy Sutton  Boarding against  Dustin Brown
3rd Period
Ales Hemsky  Hooking against  Anze Kopitar
Corey Potter  Roughing against  Colin Fraser
Colin Fraser  Slashing against  Corey Potter
Ryan Smyth  Slashing against  Brad Richardson
Darcy Hordichuk  Misconduct (10 min) against  Brad Richardson
Brad Richardson  Slashing against  Darcy Hordichuk
Ryan Smyth  Roughing against  Brad Richardson
goalie stats
Jonathan Quick
SA: 14TOI: 59:56
Saves: 13EV: 13 - 13
PIM: 0PP: 0 - 1
SV%: .929SH: 0 - 0
Nikolai Khabibulin
SA: 32TOI: 60:00
Saves: 28EV: 25 - 27
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 4
SV%: .875SH: 0 - 1