Three things that stood out in LA Kings’ 5-1 win vs Edmonton
The Los Angeles Kings were in Edmonton for the first time in two years and earned their first win against the Oilers since November of 2019.
The score does not reflect how the game went, as the LA Kings scored three late goals on a five-minute powerplay after Connor McDavid was ejected for a hit from behind.
LAK – Kupari (3), Assists: Moore (2)
LAK – Kempe (9), Assists: Brown (6), Doughty (8)
EDM – Nurse (1) (Short-Handed), Assists: Nugent-Hopkins (21), Hyman (7)
LAK – Kempe (10) (Power Play), Assists: Doughty (9), Kaliyev (3)
LAK – Doughty (2) (Power Play), Assists: Arvidsson (8), Kopitar (16)
LAK – Moore (2) (Power Play), Assists: Andersson (1), Durzi (4)
Shots on Goal:
Faceoff Percentage (%):
Three things that stood out:
1. This is Jonathan Quick’s starting job
Before this season, the Los Angeles Kings signed goaltender Cal Petersen to a three-year extension worth $5 million annually. While Kings fans love Petersen, he’s taken a step back this season while Jonathan Quick has suddenly gone back in time to his prime form, and it’s been very fun to watch.
Tonight was just another reason that Quick needs to be this team’s starting goaltender for the time being. He saved 21 of 22 shots that came his way, good for a .955 save percentage. He also recorded a 2.33 goals saved above expected (GSAx).
While the one goal he allowed on Darnell Nurse on the penalty-kill was on a weak angled shot, he also made numerous big stops throughout the game, especially on that first powerplay opportunity for the Oilers.
Petersen will most likely get a chance tomorrow against the Vancouver Canucks who are absolutely a miss right now, so it’ll be a good opportunity for him to get back in the race.
2. This powerplay can be very inconsistent
The powerplay tonight was very… interesting to say the least.
For starters, we saw the team give up a shorthanded goal to the Oilers, so that wasn’t a great start to the powerplay. However, after Connor McDavid was ejected, the special teams just erupted, with three goals on the five-minute advantage to put this game out of reach for Los Angeles.
Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar are just so fun to watch on the special teams. They can showcase skills that you don’t always get to see from them at five-on-five. Adrian Kempe is also a very lethal player on the powerplay. He has a very quick release and is such a good shooter that it makes him dangerous around the slot, but he can also play the role of a net-front presence and pick up some loose change, as we saw here:
Only way to bounce back after getting your face smashed into the boards? Bury one. Isn't that right @AdrianKempe? #GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/luil647Nk3
— LA Kings (@LAKings) December 6, 2021
If this powerplay can find consistency, we may see the Kings winning a lot more hockey games, they’ve got so many bright spots on it.
3. This team has some jump in their game
You could see it from the second the puck dropped, the Kings were full of momentum, and that can make them a very hard team to play against. Right off the bat, they were firing a plethora of shots at Mikko Koskinen in the Oilers’ cage, and the shots were 11-2 in favor of Los Angeles early on.
Players like Dustin Brown, Kempe, Doughty feed off big energy games like tonight, and when they’re on the top of their game, the Kings are as a whole.
We saw some grit at times obviously, but not a whole lot. Just tons of fast-paced hockey being played for the Kings. They’ll hope to carry some of tonight’s momentum into British Columbia against the Canucks tomorrow night.
The Kings improved to a 10-9-4 record on the season now, sitting above .500 in points percentage.