EDMONTON, AB - Marian Gaborik led the Kings with a three-point night as the visitors from Los Angeles handed the Edmonton Oilers a 3-0 shutout loss at Rexall Place.
27 seconds into the game, the Kings would take the 1-0 lead. Justin Williams flipped a centring pass on net from the corner and Anze Kopitar was all alone in front and put the puck past goalie Viktor Fasth. Marian Gaborik had the second assist on the goal.
“You can’t give a Stanley Cup contender the lead that early,” Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “Our top line, our best line is on the ice and (it’s) a real easy assignment there and it’s in our net and it can’t happen.”
Gaborik put Los Angeles up by two at 9:00 of the opening period with a shot over the glove of Fasth. Willie Mitchell and Kopitar earned the helpers.
“The first minute of the game, it’s always tough to give up a goal and a team like L.A. isn’t going to let you come back very easily and it seemed like we were off the eight ball right off the bat and we didn’t even play well enough to come back,” Oilers Taylor Hall said. “Right off the bat they played a lot better than us and (it was) a disappointing effort for us. One game left to try and make up for it and try to go into the offseason with a little bit of solace.”
Gaborik would record his third point of the game when he scored again at 13:55 of the second period. Slava Voynov and Justin Williams recorded the assists.
“I think it’s we were frustrated,” Eakins said. “It’s hard to play against a team like that. It was a clinic by a team that I think will contend for the Stanley Cup. It was great lessons for the five or six guys that we’re going to send back to the (American Hockey League) who were playing in the lineup, on what they need to do in the playoff drive down there. That’s just an excellent team that played an excellent, very simple game. We’ve said it a million times already, there’s one way to play the game and the way L.A. plays it, that’s the way you’ve got to do it and that’s the way it is.”
Gaborik nearly scored the hat trick on the power play in the third period but contact with Fasth negated the goal.
The Kings held the Oilers to just three shots in the third period, outshooting Edmonton 48-17.
“We came out in the third period and we were really confident we could pull this game off,” Gaborik said. “Obviously, we controlled the game for pretty much all 60 minutes. We played our game up and down and we didn’t give them much… we shut them down in the neutral zone and if they got some chances, (Martin Jones) made some great saves.”
Sam Gagner left the game in the second period with an ankle injury and did not return.