EDMONTON, AB -
Although Oilers goalie Ben Scrivens made 46 saves, Jeff Carter scored two odd goals and had a three-point night as the Los Angeles Kings continued to roll, winning their seventh straight game with a 4-2 showing against Edmonton.
“They’re as advertised for sure,” Oilers winger Taylor Hall said. “They seemed to have a lot of (offensive) zone time and they got a lot of shots. But as far as playing our game, that’s a team that we have… to get better at playing against but for the most part, I thought it was a pretty good effort for us tonight. The effort was there, the try was there and that has to continue no matter who we’re playing.”
A stroke of bad luck would put the Oilers in an early one-goal hole, just 1:36 into the game. Jeff Carter attempted to pass the puck across the slot to Tyler Toffoli but the pass never reached its intended target. The puck deflected off of Oilers defenceman Philip Larsen’s skate and into the open backside of the net.
At 7:24 of the opening period, the Oilers evened up the score on a much prettier goal. David Perron slid a perfect backhand pass to catch Hall in stride, who slipped behind the Kings defence. Hall, all alone on Jonathan Quick, made a move, deked and pushed the puck past the goaltender. Hall’s goal was his 22nd of the season and 60th point. Perron’s assist gave him 45 points on the season while Sam Gagner earned the secondary assist on the play.
After 20 minutes of play, the Oilers and Kings remained tied 1-1, with the visitors outshooting Edmonton 12-5.
“They seemed to come down and fire it a lot,” Hall said. “We’ll have to see what the chances were. I think that’s a better indicator of where the game was swinging but, like I said, they’re a good team. They’re in the spot they’re in for a reason and they play hard and they brought it to us for a lot of the night but, like I said, the effort was there.”
In the second, the Kings would regain the lead. Alex Martinez shot the puck from just inside the blue line and it skipped over Ben Scrivens’ pad and in, at 8:49.
The Kings pushed their lead to 3-1 with a power play goal, at 10:16 of the second, as Gagner sat for a high-stick. Anze Kopitar shot the puck and it deflected in off of Carter’s skate. Carter’s goal was his second of the game and 24th of the season.
Justin Schultz was about an inch away from drawing the Oilers within one with less than five minutes remaining in the second. The Oilers defenceman rang a heavy shot off of the crossbar and out of play.
“I thought we competed pretty well, for the most part,” Schultz said. “It’s a tough team over there. They win a lot of games for a reason. We need to just limit the number of the shots and a couple of the mistakes that cost us but, for the most part, I thought our compete was high. It was the best it has been, even though we’ve been winning games, it was right up there with our season’s best.”
The Kings came the other way about 30 seconds later and Trevor Lewis hopped a redirection over the glove of Scrivens, to give LA the 4-1 lead. Carter earned his third point of the game with an assist on the goal.
The Oilers scored at 2:05 of the third period to cut the Kings lead down to two. Gagner tried to feed Ryan Smyth backdoor but the puck went in off of a Los Angeles defenceman, making it a 4-2 game. Gagner’s goal would close out the scoring.
Scrivens gave the Oilers a chance to win, making 46 saves against his former team. The goaltender said after the game that facing higher volumes of shots doesn’t necessarily get the goalie in a groove.
“You can’t look at it that way because if you don’t get a lot of shots then you’re leaving yourself an excuse; well, I didn’t have enough action,” Scrivens said. “You have no control over how many shots get taken so all you can do is prepare for… anything and everything. You’re better off to just focus on the process and control what you can control and that’s trying to give yourself the chance to make the most saves possible.”