LOS ANGELES, CA -
The Oilers could not solve the riddle that is Los Angeles goaltender Martin Jones as Edmonton would fall, 3-0 to the Kings tonight.
“I thought the last time we were here, we got pushed right out of the rink," said Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins. "It took an amazing goaltending performance to keep it close. Tonight, I thought it was a much different game. I thought we were able to play with them. I thought (Ilya Bryzgalov) was excellent, when he needed to be. I thought we had the puck in our right skilled players' hands to generate chances. We couldn’t score. Usually, the problems with our team has been turnovers or some defensive zone lapse but that just wasn’t the case tonight.
"We needed to score a goal and it would have changed things greatly.”
In the first, Jeff Carter shot the puck on net and as it rolled around the boards it was picked up by Drew Doughty who skated right through a gap in the Oilers defence. Doughty passed it glove side of goalie Ilya Bryzgalov and Dwight King took the pass and picked his shot before sinking the puck past the diving Bryzgalov, at 16:38.
“We definitely had some push-back against a bigger team," said Oilers winger Jordan Eberle. "We showed that we can play with these guys. It would have been nice to tie the game up and force them into overtime. We had two mistakes that ended up in the back of our net, but other than that we played a good game.”
The Oilers penalty kill unit killed off to Kings power plays in the second period to stay within one, despite them being outshot 28-19 after 40 minutes of play.
“They had some energy, those young legs," said Kings Head Coach Darryl Sutter. "They had some energy in the third and quite honestly the breakaway Hall had makes it a different in the game, I don’t think he got a shot on it, but that could have been the difference.”
Sutter was referring to a breakaway that Oilers winger Taylor Hall had, roughly four minutes into the third period. The forward lost the puck wide of the net.
"I just lost the puck," said Hall. "The ice here at the Staples Center is really good at the start of the period and pretty bad at the end and I just wasn't used to how quick the ice was at the start. I just kind of lost the puck there. That would have been real nice to put one in and get some momentum. I think if we would have got one tonight, it would have been a real different game for us."
Jordan Nolan caught the Oilers on a change and, after a turnover, he went all alone on Bryzgalov. The Kings player put away the goal that would give his team the 2-0 lead at 15:22 of the final frame.
Kings goalie Jones made a big save with 1:11 remaining to maintain that lead after the Oilers had a chance with a late power play.
Los Angeles would ice the game with 39.6 seconds remaining with the empty net goal as the Oilers would be handed their fourth straight loss.
Jones made 24 saves in the shutout to continue his remarkable start to his season.
“It’s been a good start," said Jones. "I just want to make sure I keep doing the little things here and you know we played pretty well the last little stretch here so we just want to make sure that we finish out the last three games before the break here in the right way.”
Jones is the first Kings goalie to win his first six starts with the organization. He has a .82 goals against average and .972 save percentage during his 6-0-0 run.
“It turns into math," said Eakins. "The more chances you get in, the sooner or later they are going to go in. That young man was good. Maybe we just should have just ran him the first shift and got it over with. That’s a good goalie they have.”