Kings find formula for success with 2-0 victory at Edmonton
The Kings’ 2-0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers Tuesday at Rexall Place was a blueprint for the way they’ll have to play while leading scorers Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams recover from their respective injuries.
Players responded to the urgency of the situation and stepped up in ways that were subtle and obvious, producing a cohesive team victory that kept the Kings in the hunt for fourth place in the West. The Kings have won four straight games and have earned standings points in 10 of their last 11 games.
Center Trevor Lewis, promoted from a fourth-line checking role to a scoring role, set up team captain Dustin Brown twice and goaltender Jonathan Bernier stopped 32 shots to earn his third shutout this season and fourth of his career. The Oilers, who rank 30th in the NHL, are winless in their last 10 games and have scored more than two goals only once in that span.
The Kings killed two disadvantages and have neutralized 41 of their last 42 disadvantages. Their own power play was scoreless in four attempts, but that’s an old story.
The Kings have six games left starting with Friday’s game at Vancouver against the Canucks, who on Tuesday assured themselves of having the top point total in the West.
On the second goal, Oilers center Ryan O’Marra lost the puck to Lewis, who fed Brown in front for a short shot at 14:56.
That assist gave Lewis a hand in each of the Kings’ last four goals: he assisted on the Kings’ third goal Saturday against Colorado and scored the fourth before setting up Brown twice Tuesday.
Brown has five goals in his last five games and 27 this season, second only to the career-high 33 he scored in the 2007-08 season.
The Kings swept the season series from the Oilers, 4-0, and have won six straight games in Edmonton.
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-- Helene Elliott reporting from Edmonton, Canada
Photo: Kings center Jarret Stoll, left, and Edmonton's Jason Strudwick, center, and Magnus Paajarvi chase an airborne puck during the first period of the Kings' 2-0 victory Tuesday. Credit: Reuters / Dan Riedlhuber