Kings Capitalize on McDavid’s Undisciplined Play to Defeat Oilers

After dropping seven of their last eight games, the Los Angeles Kings desperately needed a victory against the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday. The Kings delivered, grabbing a convincing 5-1 victory. They were helped by a late five-minute major from Connor McDavid, with the Kings grabbing three of their goals on that one powerplay. Still, they played a solid game and deserved their win, even before McDavid’s penalty. Here are four takeaways from the game.

Moore Back on the Board

I recently discussed Trevor Moore’s offensive struggles and why they should move him down the lineup. Well, he responded with a wonderful two-point game. He had the primary assist on Rasmus Kupari’s goal and a goal of his own late in the game. He played his usual game, defensively solid and a menace on the forecheck, but he crucially added production as well. Hopefully, this kickstarts his offense for the season, as he has plenty of ground to make up after such a slow start.

Trevor Moore Los Angeles Kings
Trevor Moore, Los Angeles Kings (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

It was also great to see Kupari get back on the board, with zero points in his last nine games heading into Sunday. I still think he should be moved to wing, possibly when Quinton Byfield returns, but it’s good to see him find success through the middle.

Kempe Continues Stellar Season

Adrian Kempe potted two goals on Sunday and once again looked like the Kings’ most dangerous forward. A player who has always had the tools to be a prolific goal scorer, it is great to see him take the next step in his development. He now leads the team in goals with 10 and is on pace for a 35-goal season. If he hits the 35-goal mark, that will be more than double his previous career-high of 16. There’s still a lot of hockey to be played, but it’s looking more likely that he breaks 30-goals this season—perfect timing for him as he’s in a contract year.

Related: Kings Kempe & Vilardi Look Set For Career Seasons

He was also on the receiving end of McDavid’s boarding penalty, which helped the Kings secure the victory. He also got his revenge on McDavid in the best way possible by burying a goal on the ensuing power play. He’s quickly putting together the best season of his career and has seemingly found his home on Anze Kopitar’s wing. He’s proving that patience with your draft picks can pay off, something Kings fans should remember as the team develops a deep prospect pool.

Kings’ Power Play Finally Gets Going

Things looked bleak early on for the Kings’ struggling power play, allowing another short-handed goal against. But they bounced back during the five-minute major, grabbing three goals with the man advantage. This is even more impressive when you remember that the Oilers came into this game with a top-five penalty kill. The return of Drew Doughty and the emergence of Sean Durzi recently has really helped the power play, and they cashed in on Sunday.

Drew Doughty Los Angeles Kings
Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Doughty grabbed his first goal since his injury and took sole possession of the team lead in goals for defensemen, and Durzi posted his fifth point in as many games. Doughty’s goal was his third point of the night, bringing his season point total to 11 in just seven games. He’s been on fire this season, and it would be interesting to see where he sat in the Norris conversation if he didn’t miss so much time due to injury. Regardless, his return will do wonders for the Kings as they look to get their season back on track and return to the playoff hunt.

Quick Solid Once Again

The Kings put together a fantastic all-around defensive performance, holding the Oilers to a season-low 22 shots, but Quick was outstanding in net once again. He was especially impressive up against the Oilers’ league-leading power play, coming up with several big saves while a man down. It’s often said that your goalie has to be your best penalty killer, and he was exactly that on Sunday. With 2.33 goals saved above expected and a .955 save percentage, the stats confirm a solid game from him. He continues to impress, having a massive bounce-back season and continually cementing himself as the team’s number one goalie.

Kings Continue to Win North of the Border

The Kings have yet to lose a game in regulation when playing on Canadian soil this season and are 4-0-1 while playing in Canada. They’ll have the chance to continue this streak on Monday as they play the Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks are having a dreadful season, but it was recently announced that Bruce Boudreau would take over as head coach in Vancouver, so we might see a more energized team on Monday.

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