Kings are 'playing happy' one day after 8-2 win over Edmonton

Kings are 'playing happy' one day after 8-2 win over Edmonton
Kings defenseman Drew Doughty falls as he passes the puck under pressure from Oilers left wing Benoit Pouliot during the Kings', 8-2, victory over the Oilers on Thursday. (Mark J. Terrill / AP)

Chicken soup for the goal-scoring soul = Edmonton Oilers.

The Oilers did their thing — giving up a pile of goals — and the Kings were a much happier bunch Friday, the day after their 8-2 victory over Edmonton at Staples Center.

"No matter what kind of win it is, I think you always come to practice the next day with a little more jump," Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said. "A little bit more excitement. It's more fun to be around the rink, no doubt about that.

"The coaches are in a better mood. The players are in a better mood. When we're rolling like that and winning games, that's when we're playing happy, playing freely, that's when we play our best."


Doughty scored against the Oilers in the first period to make it 3-0, his sixth goal of the season and first since Feb. 7 at Tampa Bay.

In other words, a very long time ago.

On Friday, Doughty joked about Justin Williams trying to take his goal. Williams had two assists, and Kings Coach Darryl Sutter said he couldn't tell from the bench what precisely happened on Doughty's goal.

"It's a good step for him," Sutter said. "I think it's weighed on him a lot, those numbers, the last couple months. He hasn't scored a goal since … before the All-Star game?"

Not quite that long, but you get the idea. In fact, Doughty's other five goals came on the road. Before Thursday night, he had scored just twice in 46 games, at Edmonton on Dec. 30 and at Tampa Bay on Feb. 7.

The beauty of Doughty is that he refused to sugar-coat his scoring drought. After all, his responsibilities are more significant, especially now minus defenseman Andrej Sekera, who is expected to miss the rest of the regular season because of a knee injury.

"It sucks that I haven't been scoring, but what can you do?" he said. "That doesn't bother me. I still have quite a few points. On the power play, I find I'm more of a passer than a shooter.

"That's why I don't have any power-play goals, which is a bad thing. I should have at least one. Hopefully I can still get one."

Kings forward Marian Gaborik said he felt bad for Oilers rookie goalie Tyler Bunz, who made his NHL debut in the third period, essentially getting thrown into the deep end against the Kings.

Doughty echoed those sentiments.

"I think it kind of entered everyone's mind, to be honest," Doughty said. "It was his first game, a couple of bad bounces went in. To throw a guy like that into the game when the team is getting blown out already is tough for the guy. Oh well, at least he got some minutes."

Faceoff dept.

Sutter doesn't often praise his younger players, but he singled out rookie center Nick Shore in the context of the fourth line. Shore centered Kyle Clifford and Jordan Nolan.

Nolan scored once and Clifford added an assist. Sutter said the line was "in and out" against the Oilers.

Shore, who has one goal and seven points in 31 games, has been a consistent factor in the faceoff circle. He won seven of nine against the Oilers and finished a plus-one.

"Nick was really good on faceoffs," Sutter said. "He's been really good on faceoffs. It's probably why he's stayed in the lineup. But the fourth line is not just out there to get serviceable minutes in. They are out there to have an identity and to help your team win."


When: 7 p.m PDT Saturday.

On the air: TV: Fox Sports West; Radio: 790.

Etc.: The Kings have taken both meetings in Denver with the Avalanche this season, winning 4-1 and 5-2. Of those nine goals, center Jeff Carter is responsible for a third. Carter, who scored twice against Edmonton, is closing on the 30-goal mark. He has 28 with five games remaining, and one of those is against the Oilers.

Twitter: @reallisa