Instant Reaction: Oilers continue domination over Kings with 4-1 win

Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
3 months ago
On Thursday evening, the Edmonton Oilers hosted their Pacific Division rivals, the Los Angeles Kings. Coming into this game, the Oilers had a three-point advantage in the standings over the Kings. And a 4-1 win over them, as well as a Vegas Golden Knights win, the Oilers moved to 91 points in 71 games, with the Golden Knights moving to third in the Pacific.
It wasn’t an early goal that set the tone. In the first shift of the game, Evander Kane took a run at Drew Doughty, getting a tripping penalty but setting the tone in what would be a very physical game. This is the type of Evander Kane the Oilers need, even if he didn’t score a goal. He was in the head of the Kings all night.
After a heavy hit on Leon Draisaitl plus a Draisaitl slash to even it on four-on-four, the Oilers won the faceoff, and Connor McDavid did Connor McDavid things. He knocked the puck down, moved to the left of his former teammate Cam Talbot, and beat him for a 1-0 lead.
The Kings got their heat back so to speak, as Cody Ceci wrapped around Blaze Lizotte, who decided to feet first into Stuart Skinner. The netminder was down for a bit but stayed in the game. While there was no immediate reaction aside from a swipe by Ceci, the Oilers targeted Lizotte for the rest of the game.
Edmonton held a 1-0 lead for about 35 minutes, but Adam Henrique scored a fortunate insurance goal as Draisaitl circled the net and eventually banked the puck in off the freshly acquired Oiler. It was Henrique’s third as an Oiler and this trade is starting to look like a good one.
Early in the third period, Edmonton had a glorious chance that the former Oiler saved. However, the chippiness continued in the last frame, as Zach Hyman bumped into Mikey Anderson who pretended to be shot out of a cannon. Hyman was called for interference, but the Oilers killed it off.
After coming back on the ice, Hyman drew a slashing call, which led to the second-best power play versus the best penalty kill. On the power play, McDavid had the puck behind the net and found Evan Bouchard, who had come to the top of the faceoff dot. He released his patented “Bouch Bomb” and beat Talbot for his 16th goal of the season.
Unfortunately for the Oilers and Stuart Skinner, his bid for his second shutout of the season was ended, as Mattias Ekholm made an uncharacteristic turnover in his own end. Quinton Byfield made a terrific pass to Arthur Kaliyev who made no mistake to make it a 3-1 game.
Thankfully, the Oilers were able to hold the lead and with an empty net, Cody Ceci sniped it from about 200 feet away for his second goal of the season. Ceci now has three goals and 21 points on the season, seven points shy of matching his career high.
Things worth mentioning…
Connor McDavid scored a goal and two assists to bring his totals to 27 goals and 122 points on the season. In terms of the Art Ross race, Nathan MacKinnon didn’t score any points in Colorado’s 3-2 shootout loss to the New York Rangers, while the Tampa Bay Lightning were idle on Thursday. That means that McDavid is just two points behind Nikita Kucherov’s 124 points and one point behind MacKinnon.
Evan Bouchard now has 74 points this season, which is the third most for all defencemen behind Quinn Hughes and Cale Makar, and ahead of defencemen like Roman Josi, Victor Hedman, and Noah Dobson. Bouchard should be in the conversation for the Norris Trophy.
Leon Draisaitl picked up three assists, moving him to 38 goals and 96 points this season. In the race for the “second-best player in the league,” Matthews picked up a lone point on Thursday, giving him 59 goals and 94 points this season. Interestingly, Matthews has yet to finish ahead of Draisaitl in the points category.
Up next: The Edmonton Oilers continue their home stand on Sunday at 2:00 P.M. against the Anaheim Ducks. You’d hope this is an easy win, but you never know in this game!
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