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game recap

McDavid has four points in Oilers win against Kings

Neal breaks tie in third with second of game; Kopitar has goal, two assists in L.A. opener

by Derek Van Diest / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

McDavid scores off defender

LAK@EDM: McDavid banks goal in off defender's skate

Connor McDavid looks to center a pass on the rush, but the puck hops off a defender's skate and into the net for an early 1-0 Oilers lead

  • 00:56 •

EDMONTON -- James Neal scored his first two goals for the Edmonton Oilers, including the game-winner, in a 6-5 victory against the Los Angeles Kings at Rogers Place on Saturday.

"I felt like I had a great summer, felt like this was a fresh start," said Neal, who was acquired by the Oilers in a trade from the Calgary Flames on July 19. "I was confident in my game and knew that I would get a chance to play with some great players. (General manager) Ken Holland and (coach) Dave Tippett gave me a great chance to be the player I know I can be."

 

[WATCH: All Kings at Oilers highlights]

 

Connor McDavid had a goal and three assists, Oscar Klefbom had three assists, and Mike Smith made 26 saves for Edmonton, which defeated the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 in its first game Wednesday.

Neal gave the Oilers a 6-5 lead at 13:28 of the third period when he stuffed the puck past goalie Jonathan Quick after taking a pass from McDavid on the power play.

"Right from the start of camp, he's been good. It's good to see him get a couple of goals," Tippett said. "I like the way he roots around down there on the power play and finds stuff. It was a good game by him, and it's too bad he couldn't get the third one. We'll take the win, but Neal was good."

Video: LAK@EDM: Neal nets own rebound for second PPG

Anze Kopitar had a goal and two assists for the Kings in their season opener. It was Todd McLellan's first game as Los Angeles coach after being fired by Edmonton 20 games into last season.

"You can't give up six goals and expect to win the game, that's not going to happen very often," Kopitar said. "Obviously, scoring five goals, that's encouraging, but at the same time, we have to clean up on the defensive side of things and make sure that six was just a case of first game of the season."

McDavid gave the Oilers a 1-0 lead 53 seconds into the game when his centering pass went in off Kings defenseman Matt Roy's skate.

Dustin Brown tied the game 1-1 at 4:13 after a turnover by Smith.

Trevor Lewis gave Los Angeles a 2-1 lead at 9:05 after Smith lost the puck behind his net to Kyle Clifford, who centered it out front.

Neal scored on the power play at 10:23 to tie it 2-2, putting in the rebound of a shot by McDavid.

Video: LAK@EDM: Neal buries rebound for first as an Oiler

Kopitar gave Los Angeles a 3-2 lead at 14:49.

Zack Kassian tied it 3-3 at 4:51 of the second period, tapping in a cross-crease pass from Leon Draisaitl, who had two assists.

Michael Amadio batted the puck out of midair at 3:26 of the third to put the Kings ahead 4-3.

Joakim Nygard tied it 4-4 at 5:24 with his first NHL goal off a pass from Gaetan Haas, who earned his first NHL point.

Drew Doughty scored on the power play on a shot from the point at 8:19 to give the Kings a 5-4 lead.

Darnell Nurse tied it 5-5 at 10:10 with a wrist shot from the high slot off a pass from Tomas Jurco.

"There was some really good stuff, and then there was, obviously, some stuff we need to work on," McLellan said. "The five goals for our team is something that we're happy with; this team has struggled to score in the past. But the six isn't going to cut it. If you look at some of the miscues we had, whether it was off a face-off or shooting it into our own net, that has to get cleaned up."

Video: LAK@EDM: Nurse buries strong wrister on the rush

 

They said it

"Some people say he's the best player in the League, some people say other guys are, but the difference for me with him, I love playing against other guys who have great vision and they compete hard, but if they don't have that speed, they're not as intimidating as a Connor McDavid is with that speed, because he has all those tools with that speed." -- Kings defenseman Drew Doughty

"It shows the character in here. We said before the season we're going to be relentless, we won't stop, and we showed that tonight, so it was a good job by everyone." -- Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl on coming from behind in the third period

 

Need to know

Doughty extended his consecutive games played streak to 411, a Kings record. … It was McDavid's eighth NHL game with at least four points, fourth-most behind Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning (13), Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks (10) and Johnny Gaudreau of the Flames (nine) since the Oilers center made his NHL debut Oct. 8, 2015.

 

What's next

Kings: At the Calgary Flames on Tuesday (9 p.m. ET; SNW, FS-W, NHL.TV)

Oilers: At the New York Islanders on Tuesday (Nassau Coliseum; 7 p.m. ET; MSG+, SNOL, NHL.TV)

Video: Neal's two goals help Oilers outlast Kings, 6-5

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