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Instant Reaction: Oilers snap out of losing streak with big win over L.A. Kings

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Photo credit:© Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
1 month ago
The three-game losing streak is over, as the Edmonton Oilers defeated the Los Angeles Kings by a score of 4-2 on Monday night.
Heading into the game, the Oilers were 0-2-1 in their past three, including a defeat at the hands of their provincial rival. So, what went down, and what led to the Oilers win?
Well, it wasn’t a great start for the Oilers, as the Kings picked up a goal on a defensive breakdown from the Darnell Nurse and Cody Ceci pairing. The shot from the point took a wicked bounce, Ceci followed his man to the left side of the ice, while Derek Ryan was late picking up Quinton Byfield. As the King was on the side of the net, he funnelled it to the front of the net, where the two defencemen were scrambling. Not a great goal to concede.
Thankfully, the Oilers got back in it with a last-minute goal, as the Kings had a defensive breakdown of their own. Connor McDavid found Zach Hyman at the faceoff dot, and Hyman made no mistake with the one-timer for a goal in his fifth straight game. With that goal, Hyman now extends his career-high with 38 goals in 55 games. Connor McDavid picked up the lone assist.
The Kings once again took the lead in nearly the same minute as their first goal. This time, Evan Bouchard made a bad pinch and Mattias Ekholm overcommitted, leaving Alex Laferriere all alone in front of the goal, giving the Kings a 2-1 lead. 
Never fear, as the Oilers scored a goal on the power play within the final five minutes of the period. Draisaitl matched the number on his back with his 29th goal, but it wasn’t his typical goal on the power play (one-time from the dot), as he redirected a Bouchard shot to tie the game. Draisaitl had a rough game on Saturday, but he was excellent tonight. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Bouchard (obviously) picked up the assists.
The game was once again tied heading into the third period, Edmonton’s best period in recent weeks. This time, the Oilers scored the first goal of the period just after the minute mark, as Bouchard unleashed a patented “Bouchbomb” for the lead, with the Oilers never looking back. McDavid and Draisaitl picked up the two assists on this goal.
Edmonton got an insurance marker late in the third period, as the makeshift line of Mattias Janmark, Nugent-Hopkins, and Connor Brown combined for the Oilers fourth goal. Janmark made a great play to kick it to Nugent-Hopkins, who dropped it to Brown and gave it back to Nugent-Hopkins for the latter’s 16th of the season. This was Brown’s first point in 12 games, but he’s still been a positive player once you look past the lack of goals.

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Things worth mentioning…

After the defeat to the Vegas Golden Knights, Stuart Skinner had six consecutive games with a sub .900 save percentage. In that stretch, he had an .858 save percentage and a 2-3-1 record. That ended on Monday night, as he stopped 38 of 40 shots for a .950 save percentage.
Bouchard’s goal tonight was his 15th of the season. On top of that, he’s moved into a tie with the Calgary Flames’ MacKenzie Weegar for the most goals by a defenceman. He made a bad decision on the Kings’ second goal, but he had a great game overall.
Connor Brown still hasn’t scored a goal yet this season but he’s been contributing lately. He picked up an assist on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ goal and now has a point in each of his last four games.
The season series between the two teams now favours Edmonton, as the Oilers have two wins and the Kings have one. The Kings and Oilers will meet for the final time in the regular season in Edmonton on March 28. Will they meet in the playoffs for a third consecutive year?
Up next… The Oilers will host the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday. The Oilers will have the advantage in that one as the Blues will be playing on Tuesday night in Winnipeg against the Jets and then they’ll have to take the bus all the way to Edmonton. It’s a tough ride, especially in this weather!

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