Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Anze Kopitar Helps Kings Down Oilers 4-1; L.A. Takes Lead in Pacific: Kopitar Helps Kings Down Oilers 4-1

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Anze Kopitar Helps Kings Down Oilers 4-1; L.A. Takes Lead in Pacific: Kopitar Helps Kings Down Oilers 4-1

Article excerpt

EDMONTON - The game of musical chairs in the NHL's Pacific Division continues.

Anze Kopitar had a goal and an assist as the Los Angeles Kings took a hold of the division lead with a 4-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

Mike Richards, Drew Doughty and Alec Martinez also scored for the Kings (39-27-12), who moved from eighth place in the Western Conference to third ahead of Dallas after the Stars lost 5-2 to Vancouver.

"We got the two points, that's what we want," said Kings coach Darryl Sutter. "All of the games are really important right now. Dustin Brown was awesome for us tonight. It was a funny first period. They have all that skill over there with those kids and they were wheeling and dealing and we had to make some adjustments to handle them."

Kopitar said the team was happy to rack up some offence and make life a little easier for goaltender Jonathan Quick.

"We came out strong right off the hop and kind of denied that loose game that they wanted to play," he said. "We came out and played a good system game and it led to all of the breakdowns on their part. It was good for us to make it a little easier on Quick so he doesn't have to bail us out every time."

Jordan Eberle replied for the Oilers (31-38-9), who have lost two in a row after a 5-0-2 run in their previous seven games.

"They were stronger and more determined than us," said Oilers head coach Tom Renney. "The Kings are a desperate team. They were right there on the cusp of being in the playoffs and they are playing with every bit of urgency you can possibly imagine. And we're hanging on for dear life trying not to embarrass ourselves. When you do that, that's exactly what happens."

There was a quick start to the game with a pair of goals in the first minute and a half.

Los Angeles scored on its first shot of the game as Dwight King looped out from the corner and took a long hopeful shot that was tipped by Kopitar through the legs of Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin.

Edmonton got that goal back less than a minute later on the power play as Eberle snapped a shot from the right face-off dot that went just inside of the post past Kings starter Quick. …

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