The Los Angeles Kings saw their first win of the season turn into an excruciating overtime loss.
Rookie Nail Yakupov tied the game with 4.7 seconds left in regulation and Sam Gagner scored a power-play goal 3:01 into OT as the Edmonton Oilers stunned the Kings 2-1 on Thursday night, keeping the defending Stanley Cup champions winless in three games.
Though they earned their first point of the season, the Kings have been outscored 11-4 in the three losses.
“If you’re going to regain your composure it’s OK to be a little desperate, but not OK to panic," defenseman Rob Scuderi said. "It hasn’t gone the way we’d like certainly, but you have to try to bounce back. At least we got something out of it tonight.”
It looked like Jeff Carter's breakaway goal at 13:26 of the second period would stand up as the winner -- especially when an apparent goal by Edmonton's Ryan Nugent-Hopkins with 1:05 left was waved off. After a conference, the officials ruled that Gagner had made contact with goaltender Jonathan Quick in the crease and took the goal off the scoreboard.
But the Oilers refused to quit, and Yakupov, the first player taken in the 2012 NHL Draft, scored his second of the season when he swatted the rebound of Taylor Hall's shot out of midair and into the net.
"It's unbelievable the passion he plays with," Nugent-Hopkins said of Yakupov, whose goal celebrations are becoming a trademark. "He gets his teammates going and his fans going."
The Kings were called for having too many men on the ice 1:21 into overtime, and the Oilers finally scored on their ninth power play of the night when Nugent-Hopkins fed the puck across the front of the crease to Gagner, who slid it past Quick to trigger an eruption from the 16,839 fans at Rexall Place.
"That's as close to a playoff atmosphere as we've had here," Gagner said. "We need to win these tight games, so it feels good."
It was a big rebound for the Oilers, who were torched for six first-period goals by San Jose in their home opener two nights earlier.
"I just wanted to go out, have a good game and do all the right things out there. We all wanted to," said goaltender Devan Dubnyk, who surrendered all six goals in the 6-3 loss but stopped 30 of the Kings' 31 shots.
Quick made 37 saves as the Kings got a point but saw another one slip away.
"They catch a bounce there at the end and push it to overtime …They get a power play," Quick said. "You give a team that many chances on the power play and sooner or later they’re going to score on you. It ended up biting us at the end."
Los Angeles broke the scoreless tie when Kyle Clifford sent Carter in alone and he beat Dubnyk under the crossbar.
Quick stopped the first 33 shots he faced, but with time running out, Taylor Hall wristed the puck at the net from the high slot. It hit Quick's blocker and Yakupov knocked it in for his second goal of the season.
The Kings hurt themselves by failing to connect on eight power plays. Los Angeles is now 0 for 18 with the extra man in three games.
Five of the Kings' power plays came in the first period, when they had a two-man advantage for 2:00 and a four-minute power play after Oilers' defenseman Ladislav Smid received a double minor for instigating a fight while wearing a face shield. But the Kings came away with nothing -- and then had to kill three power plays by the Oilers.
Both teams had three more unsuccessful power plays in the second period, and the Kings had to kill three more penalties in the third -- including a tripping call against Carter with 2:50 remaining in regulation during which the Oilers thought they had tied the score.
Despite the loss, Kings coach Darryl Sutter wasn't displeased with his team's play.
"I thought we played well," he said. "We hit three posts. It’s 1-0 and we had all those chances to make it 2-0, with all the power plays. It’s tough to win on the road.”
Material from team media was used in this report