"It helps when you get the first goal," said Milan Lucic, playing against his former team for the first time. "We're letting teams pounce on us early and get that first goal on us and establish that lead. It's hard to play catchup hockey… The team that scores the first goal of the game usually ends up winning."
Edmonton actually had the better start as Jonas Gustavsson made some nice saves between the pipes and Darnell Nurse snuck a shot between LA goalie Peter Budaj's pads that trickled just wide of the far post.
The Kings weathered the early storm and opened the scoring 5:09 into the first period from an unlikely source, as defenceman Derek Forbort's point shot found its way through traffic and just inside the post past a screened Gustavsson for his first goal of the season and just his second in 32 career NHL games.
On the very next shift, Andrej Sekera was called for a hooking penalty, putting the Kings on the power play with an opportunity to extend their lead. And though it wasn't a PPG, Jeff Carter fed Tyler Toffoli on the doorstep for a one-timer four seconds after Sekera's penalty expired to give the home side a 2-0 advantage.
The Kings outshot the Oilers 10-7 in the opening frame, while blueliner Adam Larsson played nearly half the period, logging a whopping 9:09 TOI for the visitors.
While Nurse almost opened the scoring early in the first period, he continued to fire the puck in the second and picked the top corner to get the Oilers on the board at the 3:44 mark. Leon Draisaitl flipped a pass over to the left wing to a streaking Nurse and his quick release gave him his third goal of the season.
The Oilers got more offence from their defence about five minutes later as Oscar Klefbom scored the equalizer for his first goal of the season. Edmonton maintained some steady offensive zone pressure and Klefbom scooped up a rebound before scorching a backhand just under the crossbar to make it a 2-2 game.
The game didn't stay tied for long.
The Oilers had a prime opportunity to take the lead as Jordan Nolan took an interference penalty on the very next shift. However, it was the Kings who capitalized as Toffoli sprung Carter on a partial shorthanded breakaway and the team's leading goal-scorer made no mistake, flicking a wrist shot past Gustavsson for his sixth of the season.
"We had just gained a ton of momentum and went on the power play right away," Coach Todd McLellan said of the eventual game-winning SHG. "It sucked the life out of us for a little while."
"We tried to not let it affect us, but that's always tough," Zack Kassian added. "When you put your PP out there, if it doesn't score you want to create momentum. They got a bounce and ended up scoring."
Devin Setoguchi provided the Kings with their insurance marker, depositing a rebound at 13:50 of the final frame to clinch the 4-2 decision and hand the Oilers their fifth consecutive defeat.
"It's the start, it's the early mistakes, it's the falling behind and not being able to crawl out," McLellan said. "Interestingly enough, I'm not overly concerned about our offence. I think we're creating plenty of chances and plenty of good looks. Certain individuals have to finish on them. It's what we're giving up that's disappointing. We weren't scoring five against this team tonight. Not a chance."
Edmonton (9-8-1) will close out their three-game road trip and look to snap their losing skid on Saturday against the Dallas Stars (7-6-5), who defeated the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 on Thursday.