Kings make assertion with win over Connor McDavid and Oilers

The Kings’ dismissal of the Edmonton Oilers on Monday felt like a lot multiple of 82 video games, greater than a pleasant, dry place to go on a wet evening in Los Angeles.

It was an announcement. It was the Kings at their greatest, doing good issues massive and small whereas they practically silenced runaway NHL scoring chief Connor McDavid and acquired an outstanding efficiency from a penalty-killing unit that has generally sabotaged in any other case robust efforts.

“We feel really good right now,” Kings defenseman Drew Doughty mentioned after their 6-3 victory at Area, their ninth win within the final 12 video games. “We see that when we play some of our best hockey, we can play with the best teams in the league right now. If we keep doing that, things are looking really good for us.”

They scored 4 power-play objectives in a sport for the primary time since April 5, 2012, the primary two from winger Kevin Fiala — who had recorded a hat trick in opposition to Vegas of their earlier sport — and the final two from Adrian Kempe. Fiala additionally added two power-play assists, turning into the primary Kings participant to report no less than 4 energy play factors in a sport since Adam Deadmarsh had 4 assists on Feb. 8, 2002.

“When he’s on, he can dominate games,” Doughty mentioned of Fiala. “He’s very good. Good vision, good shot. He’s one of the better one-on-one guys I’ve played with in my career. I thought he dominated [Monday]. He was unbelievable. He could have had seven, eight points, I thought, and he was amazing.”

Fiala, acquired from Minnesota final summer season, loved the excessive pressure. “I think it was a playoff game right now. Lot of emotions. Lot of physical,” he mentioned. “Lot of penalties and the special teams I feel like won the game for us and so I’m very proud of the team overall.”

He had purpose to be. The Kings had been credited with 22 blocked photographs, led by Sean Durzi’s 5, and with 26 hits, led by Kempe’s six and Mikey Anderson’s 5. Additionally of nice significance, they negated all six energy performs gained by the Oilers, who had transformed a league-leading 32.2% of their benefits earlier than being stymied by goaltender Pheonix Copley and the Kings.

The facility play is glory time, an opportunity to indicate off ability and slick passing and benefit from the highlight and applause when it’s profitable. Penalty killing is drudgery, and it gives few probabilities to rejoice. The Kings currently have been displaying they’re prepared to place within the work, and it confirmed up Monday of their penalty killing and their feistiness in opposition to the group that eradicated them from the playoffs in a seven-game collection final spring.

Coach Todd McLellan pointed to the person enchancment proven by Fiala because the begin of this season and the bigger development of the group. Fiala, whose defensive play could be shaky, has been paying extra consideration to his defensive obligations. That’s signal for a group that’s intent on constructing round its protection and someway is second within the Pacific Division regardless of having a minus-1 objective differential.

Edmonton’s Connor McDavid shoots whereas defended by Kings’ Mikey Anderson.

(Jae C. Hong / Related Press)

“The whole team played to score. Now we’re playing to win and we’re finally getting it, but that doesn’t mean it just stays with you. It can leave quickly,” McLellan mentioned.

Willingness to work can carry groups out of slumps. The Kings (24-14-6) have discovered that lesson.

“There’s good teams that never go anywhere because they don’t quite get everybody willing to do things that they don’t want to do,” McLellan mentioned. “Sometimes average teams go a little further along because they do get players to do things they don’t want to do. And that could be giving up ice time, that could be blocking a shot, a scrap. You can go on and on. Sacrificing offense to check at a certain time.

“Players don’t always want to do that. They want to go bar-down. Make sweet plays, all the adjectives that they use. But sometimes just getting them to do the things they don’t want to do can point you in the right direction, at least.”

Fiala capped a sequence of fast, exact puck motion with a shot from the fitting circle that acquired previous goalie Stuart Skinner at 9:21 of the primary interval. Anze Kopitar was credited with the second help, the 1,a hundredth level of his NHL profession. He’s solely the fifth lively skater who has reached that quantity, after Alex Ovechkin (1,458 by Monday’s video games), Sidney Crosby (1,456), Patrick Kane (1,207) and Evgeni Malkin (1,181). The purpose additionally was Fiala’s 600th at dwelling, by whichever sponsor identify the world carries.

Fiala struck once more at 11:11, profiting from the Oilers’ defensive confusion to stroll in from the fitting facet and beat Skinner on the glove facet. Edmonton acquired one again at 17:02, a couple of seconds after a Kings penalty had expired. Darnell Nurse’s shot from the purpose was deflected as soon as by a King defender and once more by Kailer Yamamoto, and it eluded Copley at 17:02. The Kings padded their result in 4-1 with yet one more power-play objective, on a shot by Kempe that landed within the glove of Edmonton goalie Jack Campbell, who had changed Skinner. Nonetheless, replays confirmed that the puck had totally crossed the road and it was dominated a objective.

Edmonton closed to inside 4-2 late within the second interval, however Alex Iafallo acquired behind the protection to present the Kings a cushion. McDavid’s unassisted objective at 9:26 of the third interval was his first level in two video games in opposition to the Kings this season. Viktor Arvidsson completed the scoring, into an empty internet.

“Guys are certainly playing with confidence. Guys are playing for each other, guys are doing all the small things like blocking shots, getting clears when we need them, starting games strong,” Copley mentioned after stopping 28 photographs and bettering to 11-2-0. “Those are the kinds of things that when you do them regularly you give yourself a chance to win, and that’s what we’re doing right now and that’s why we’re having good results.”

It was end result on a wet Monday. Or some other evening.