Game 36; 23-11-2
EDMONTON — After 36 years, the Los Angeles Kings say goodbye to the originally-named Northlands Coliseum as they visited the Edmonton Oilers at the old barn for the final time. The Kings wanted to make their last visit count and that is just what they did, exploding for three quick goals in the second period en route to a 5-2 victory.
It was the Oilers who started strong, though, peppering the Kings with a plethora of shots while setting the tone for the game early on. After posting the shutout in Vancouver on Monday, Jonathan Quick was given his second start in as many nights and early on, he was solid as he turned away all 13 first-period shots by the Oilers. The Kings countered the attack with 10 shots of their own but no goals were scored on either end.
In the second, the Kings drew first blood.
While Jeff Carter is still sidelined with an upper-body injury, the Kings did welcome Dwight King back to the lineup. King, who suffered a broken foot in Los Angeles’s final preseason game on Oct. 3 made his regular-season debut in this one and he left a positive impact, tucking his first past netminder Cam Talbot to open the scoring. The goal came at 4:22 of the middle frame from Dustin Brown and Trevor Lewis.
Then, just 80 seconds later, Michael Mersch scored his first NHL goal as he made a great individual effort from the corner to beat Talbot in front to make it 2-0 Los Angeles. Andy Andreoff supplied the lone assist. But if that weren’t enough, Tyler Toffoil snapped his 18th home just 16 seconds later, effectively ending Talbot’s evening. Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty each recorded their 17th assists on the goal.
After allowing three goals on 14 shots, Talbot made way for Anders Nilsson. The change seemed to help as the Oilers broke Quick’s shutout bid thanks to a textbook passing play finished off by Benoit Pouliot. The goal ended Quick’s shutout streak at 92:55.
Pouliot snapped home his ninth at 9:59 to put the home team on the board, but the Kings would regain their three-goal lead.
A few minutes later, Trevor Lewis cashed in on his fourth (from Brown and King) to make it 4-1 Los Angeles.
The Kings and Oilers exchanged goals in the third with Dustin Brown making it 5-2 for the silver-and-black. Despite getting a stick to the face early, it was a great outing by the Kings captain as he added two assists to his late tally. Dwight King also added an assist to his first of the year.
While the Oilers did outshoot the Kings by a 42-32 margin, it was the visiting club who were better defensively committing 10 takeaways to Edmonton’s one.
With the win, Jonathan Quick earned his 20th win of the season, reaching the plateau in each of his last six full seasons (excluding the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign). If Quick was tired from the previous night, it didn’t show as he made 42 saves in Tuesday’s win.
The Kings are now a perfect 3-0 against the Oilers and 3-0 on their current road trip. They will look to sweep the road swing on Thursday but it will not be easy as they visit a Calgary Flames team who, before losing on Tuesday, had won 11-straight on home ice.