LOS ANGELES — As often happens in a hockey game, one play, one moment in a game can change the momentum in favor of one team or the other.
The Kings, losers of seven out of their last eight games heading into this game, were marginally better in that period compared to just about any game they have played this month. But all that changed for the better seconds before the 1:19 mark of the second period.
At that moment, Kings defenseman Drew Doughty absolutely leveled Oilers rookie forward Taylor Hall, the highly-touted first overall pick in the 2010 National Hockey League Entry Draft, with a huge, highlight-reel hit at left point, near the Kings’ blue line.
Hall was jarred to the core, flattened by Doughty. The big hit deflated the Oilers and inspired the Kings, who took control the rest of the way, scoring once in the second period and twice in the third, giving them a 5-2 victory.
The Kings put their entire game together in the second and third periods, limiting turnovers and winning the majority of loose puck battles. They also cleaned up their defensive coverage and they were able to generate sustained pressure in the offensive zone—all were sorely lacking in their game since just after Christmas.
Jonathan Bernier got the start in goal for the Kings and played a solid game, making 24 saves.
Devan Dubnyk took the loss in goal for the Oilers, allowing four goals on 22 shots.
The Kings ended their eight-game home stand with dreadful 2-6-0 record.
Kings right wing Wayne Simmonds suffered a lower body injury, believed to be a right ankle or right knee injury, during a scrum that immediately followed Doughty’s big hit on Hall early in the second period. He went to the dressing room after the scrum and did not return.
The Kings honored superstar goaltender and should-be Hall of Famer Rogie Vachon during a pre-game ceremony. As part of the festivities, the Kings wore their vintage “Forum Blue and Gold” jerseys.
- With two goals, Jarret Stoll has six points in the last five games (five goals and an assist).
- With a goal and an assist, Doughty has nine points in the last eleven games (goal, eight assists).
- Marco Sturm (one goal, one assist in the game) has five points in the last five games (two goals, three assists).
- The Kings have gone four straight games without allowing a power play goal (10/10).
- The Kings are now 19-7-0 when scoring first.are 14-0-0 when leading after two periods.
- When the Kings score three or more goals they are 21-6-0. When they allow two or less, they are 20-3-0.
- Anze Kopitar played in his 299th consecutive game tonight. The Kings record is 324 set by Marcel Dionne, January 7, 1978 to January 9, 1982. Kopitar’s string began on March 21, 2007.
- Tonight was the first time in seven meetings at Staples Center where the Kings and Oilers did not go to a shootout.
Raw post-game audio interviews
(Edited to remove extraneous material and dead air)
Anze Kopitar (2:39)
Jarret Stoll (3:34)
Terry Murray (5:43)
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