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game recap

McDavid scores in return from quad injury, Oilers defeat Kings

Center also has two assists, helps Edmonton move into second in Pacific

by Dan Greenspan / Independent Correspondent

McDavid nets beauty in return

EDM@LAK: McDavid pots beautiful backhander in return

Connor McDavid skates in on a 2-on-1, dekes and lifts a backhander home for an incredible goal in his return to the lineup from injury

  • 00:46 •

LOS ANGELES -- Connor McDavid had a goal and two assists in his return from a quad injury, and the Edmonton Oilers won 4-2 against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on Sunday.

McDavid was out the previous six games after sustaining the injury against the Nashville Predators on Feb. 8.

Leon Draisaitl had a power-play goal for the Oilers (33-22-7), who moved into second place in the Pacific Division, one point ahead of the Vancouver Canucks. Mike Smith made 21 saves.

"I felt a little awkward at first but settled in as game went on," McDavid said. "I think timing is the main thing. The game can feel a little bit weird when you've been sitting out for a bit."


[WATCH: All Oilers vs. Kings highlights]


Anze Kopitar scored a power-play goal, and Adrian Kempe had two assists for the Kings (22-35-6). Calvin Petersen made 27 saves.

"I thought we had some good moments," Los Angeles coach Todd McLellan said. "The negatives were the outnumbered rushes that we gave up to their two top players (McDavid and Draisaitl). We really tried to focus on that before the game."

McDavid gave the Oilers a 3-0 lead at 16:14 of the second period, keeping the puck on a 2-on-1 break and putting a backhand shot past Petersen.

"We had two or three 2-on-1s that kind of worked out the exact same way right before that, so I thought [Kings defenseman Drew Doughty] might go and stand with [Oilers forward] Sam [Gagner], and it just gave me a chance to make a move," McDavid said.

McDavid has 20 points (nine goals, 11 assists) in his past 13 games. He had three goals and six assists in four games against the Kings, including two of his 23 multipoint games this season.

"Of course it's great having him back," Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said. "You see the plays he makes and he's just so dangerous every time he touches the puck, and every team knows that. It's no secret, [yet] he still goes in and does it every night. For him to play like that in his first game back, it's more than impressive."

Video: EDM@LAK: Draisaitl buries McDavid's feed for PPG

Kopitar made it 3-1 at 18:39 with a wrist shot from the right circle.

Dustin Brown scored 49 seconds into the third period with a wrist shot from the right circle during a 2-on-1 rush to make it 3-2, but Josh Archibald scored an empty-net goal with 50 seconds remaining for the 4-2 final.

"The commitment to playing to the end and playing hard was a positive, which we've had all year," McLellan said.

Draisaitl scored on the power-play at 19:29 of the first period to give the Oilers a 1-0 lead. Brown failed to clear the puck, allowing McDavid to find Draisaitl in the right circle for a one-timer.

Nugent-Hopkins made it 2-0 at 5:27 of the second period with a redirection of Caleb Jones' shot.

Video: EDM@LAK: Nugent-Hopkins deflects Jones' shot home


They said it

"Top players make other players around them better. Sometimes it's the players that they're playing with, sometimes it's just the aura of being a good team and you play confident when you have good players. That's what he brings." -- Oilers coach Dave Tippett on center Connor McDavid

"It's the 2-on-1's that we gave up; we can't be that careless. We've got to be a lot more responsible, whether that's pinching from our [defense] or covering for our [defense] on the forward side. We've got to correct that." -- Kings captain Anze Kopitar


Need to know

Nugent-Hopkins has five points (three goals, two assists) during a three-game point streak. … Oilers forward Kailer Yamamoto had an assist; he has seven points (two goals, five assists) in his past five games. … Kopitar has nine points (one goal, eight assists) in his past six games. … Kings defenseman Ben Hutton did not play because of an illness.


What's next

Oilers: At the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday (10 p.m. ET; PRIME, SNW, NHL.TV)

Kings: Host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN)

Video: McDavid scores in return, leads Oilers past Kings

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