Monday, March 10, 2014
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — The Los Angeles Kings are winning game after game — even when they aren't at their best.
Jeff Carter had two goals and an assist as the Los Angeles Kings won their seventh straight with a 4-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday night.
"Tonight wasn't our best game by any means, not even close, but we found a way and just stuck with it," forward Jarret Stoll said. "We didn't really have our legs at some points, but you have to find ways to win. Dirty ways, ugly ways, whatever. That's the biggest thing right now. We are getting timely saves from our goaltenders like we usually get and we are finding goals."
Alec Martinez and Trevor Lewis also scored for the Kings (37-22-6), who are on their longest winning streak since taking nine in a row in 2010.
"It feels good to feel like you are contributing on an individual level, but the most important thing is that we are winning games right now," Martinez said. "This is the crunch time of the year and we have to be playing playoff hockey. It's been good to be getting these two points consistently."
Taylor Hall and Sam Gagner responded for the Oilers, who had a two-game winning streak snapped.
Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said the game wasn't as one-sided as it may have seemed and his team was somewhat the victim of bad luck with two goals going in off of odd deflections.
"I thought our guys were in the battle, they were sticking together, they were playing hard," he said. "There was no standing around watching them play. We made our mistakes and then they had two goals like that. The first one is a heartbreaker, it's not a good way to start. It goes off a guy's foot. That gets you down against a team I consider one of the best in the league."
Los Angeles was all over Edmonton, outshooting the Oilers 50-27. Gagner tried to downplay the stat.
"I thought it was one of those games where we battled against that team and we held our own physically," he said. "We're obviously not happy with the result, but we have to move forward."
The Kings got off to a quick start, scoring on the game's first shot 1:36 into the contest. Carter's shot was going wide, but hit the skate of defenseman Philip Larsen and got past a surprised Ben Scrivens in the Oilers net.
Edmonton tied it 7½ minutes into the opening period as David Perron made a nifty no-look backhand pass to Hall, who made a move before sending a backhander through Kings starter Jonathan Quick's legs. It was Hall's 22nd goal of the season and 60th point.
Los Angeles outshot Edmonton 12-5 in the first period.
Scrivens continued to be tested, making a huge kick save on Marian Gaborik's blast eight minutes into the second period — the Kings' 20th shot of the game.
"He has done it all year, he did it with us too," Quick said of Scrivens. "I think he is just what this team needed here in Edmonton. He consistently gives you a solid effort and a chance to win every night. We put 50 shots on him and they still had a chance at the end there.
Los Angeles took the lead less than a minute later as Martinez's point shot seemed to hit something in front on its way into the Edmonton net.
Carter got another odd goal midway through the second period as Scrivens blocked Anze Kopitar's shot, but the rebound caromed off the back of Carter's leg and in. It was Carter's 24th goal of the season.
The Kings made it 4-1 with four minutes left in the middle frame as Carter fed a pass to a hard-charging Lewis, who fluttered a shot that Scrivens could only wave his glove at. It was just Lewis' third goal in 56 games this season.
It was Edmonton's turn to get a lucky bounce early in the third with the teams playing four aside as Gagner tried to feed Ryan Smyth at the side of the net, but it hit defenseman Drew Doughty in front and went in to make it 4-2. It was Gagner's first goal in 16 games.
NOTES: It was the third of four games this season between the Oilers and Kings. The Kings won the two previous games, both played in Los Angeles. The Kings held a 13-1-4 in their past 18 games against Edmonton. ... The Oilers have had their troubles against Pacific Division opponents, coming in with only four wins against them this season, two of those wins coming against Calgary. ... Scrivens played his first game against his old team since being traded from the Kings to the Oilers in mid-January. ... Remaining out for the Oilers was D Anton Belov (partially torn oblique).