Fortunately for them, they were playing the 29th-place Edmonton
Oilers, so they didn't have to.
Los Angeles scored on its first shift of the game, jumped out to a
three-goal lead after 40 minutes, and outshot Edmonton 48-17,
handing the Oilers their 10th shutout loss of the season, 3-0.
"We wanted to have a good start and obviously scoring in the first
minute helps," said Kings center Anze Kopitar. "After that, we were
pressing pretty hard and had some pretty good offensive zone time
and brought the game home pretty well, with no stress in the end and
that's what you want."
Kings goaltender Martin Jones made 17 saves for the shutout.
The Kings already know where they will finish in the Pacific
Division (third) their first-round playoff opponent (the San Jose
Sharks), so they don't have much to play at the moment, other than
to stay healthy.
Nevertheless, they were up 1-0 after 27 seconds when Kopitar's 27th
goal of the season got past Oilers goalie Viktor Fasth. At the
nine-minute mark, it was 2-0 Los Angeles when forward Marian Gaborik
picked up a loose puck and beat Fasth from 20 feet out.
"I've been in (Edmonton's) position my first couple of years in
L.A.," said Kopitar. "If a team in playoff spot gets a couple on you
pretty quick you're in a tough spot.
"As for us, we just want to sharpen our game for pretty so we're
ready to go in the playoffs."
The Kings, who outshot Edmonton 138-69 in the first three games of
the series, were up 10-4 in shots after 20 minutes and in complete
"We didn't have any answers," said Oilers left winger David Perron.
"We have to be a lot more competitive in our battles."
Los Angeles (46-28-7) continued running the show in the second
period but could only increase the lead to 3-0 when Gaborik put a
quick shot through defenseman Justin Schultz's legs that handcuffed
Fasth at 13:55.
His three-point night gave him points in eight of his past nine
"I'm glad I'm part of this team," he said. "I'm just trying to go
out there and create some space for myself and my teammates. I'm
trying to play well offensively and defensively and manage. We have
a good team and we're getting ready to go on the road and go play
[to top of second column]
The Oilers were out-shot 23-3 in the third period, but bristled when
asked if they quit.
"I don't see it in here, I don't see guys quitting," said left
winger Taylor Hall. "But that's a period you would like to forget.
No matter how you want to spin it, you get outshot by an 8-1 margin
it's not the period you want to have."
In four games, the Kings have outshot Edmonton 48-17, 48-18, 40-24
"We were frustrated, it's hard to play against a team like that,"
said Oilers coach Dallas Eakins. "It was a clinic by a team that I
think will contend for the Stanley Cup. I've said it a million
times, there's one way to play the game and the way LA plays it is
the way you have to do it."
Fasth stopped 45 shots for the Oilers (28-44-9).
"They played a lot better than us, a disappointing effort," said
Hall. "Not generating very much offence and giving up a lot of
chances is not a good recipe. This whole year has been a little bit
tough to swallow."
NOTES: The Oilers added C Boyd Gordon to their growing list of
players who are done for the season. Gordon, who has a minor
shoulder issue, joins LW Jesse Joensuu (ankle), RW Ryan Jones
(knee), RW Nail Yakupov (ankle), D Andrew Ference (chest) and LW
Luke Gazdic (shoulder) on the sideline. ...Injured Los Angeles D
Drew Doughty and Robyn Regehr are practising with the team and would
be playing if this were the playoffs, but they are being given more
time to rest and recover. ... Kings G Jonathan Quick is 12-4-1 in
his past 17 games. ... Oilers C Sam Gagner had to be helped off the
ice in the second period with an ankle injury. He won't play the
season finale Saturday.
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