What we learned from the Kings' 5-2 victory over the Oilers

What we learned from the Kings' 5-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers

The streak is over. That is, the losing streak. The downtrodden Oilers were the perfect opponent at the ideal time for the Kings, who won for the first time in four games. A few takeaways from the second game of a short, two-game trip:

Anze Kopitar found his extra gear

The Kings center had that special jump and physical domination going, and the line of Marian Gaborik-Kopitar-Trevor Lewis combined for seven points.

Kopitar and Lewis each had three points, a career high for Lewis, who had one goal and two assists. TV commentators were praising Kopitar, saying he was physically dominant throughout.

Lewis agreed with that assessment.

“Kopi is such a big, strong guy -- most guys when they get the puck, they want you to come in and help them,” Lewis said. “He's so strong, he tells you to get away and get open."

Kings Coach Darryl Sutter had his usual blunt take regarding Kopitar’s performance.

“We need that out of him,” Sutter said. “We need him to be a top guy every night if we're going to make the playoffs.”

Lewis is coming of age

Lewis is a modest, hardworking forward. In other words, he is the kind of player that coaches love to have on their team. He said he didn’t pay much attention to career marks, but added: “It’s always nice to chip in.”

Lewis gave plenty of credit to his linemates.

“Playing with those two, it almost makes the game a little easier,” he said of Kopitar and Gaborik. “They’re always there, and I just try to get in, get pucks to them and get to the net.”

The Kings have been trying various options with Kopitar and Gaborik.

“It’s been in and out,” Sutter said. “We’ve been trying guys to get that line going and we were able to use him, left wing, right wing. Tonight, we just said we were going to leave him (Lewis) with Kopitar and see what happens.”

Kings are getting contributions from their bottom six forwards

The hardworking fourth line was responsible for the Kings’ fourth goal against the Oilers, and it went to left wing Kyle Clifford, a byproduct of tenacious multiple efforts. His linemates, center Nick Shore and right wing Jordan Nolan, had the assists.

A slightly different looking fourth line had some of the brighter moments for the Kings in the Winnipeg loss on Sunday. The tweak was that center Andy Andreoff took Shore’s place on the fourth line against the Jets.

They didn’t shy away from contact in what was a hard-nosed, physical game on Sunday.

“It seemed like we were getting beaten up on the scoreboard and on the ice,” Nolan said after Tuesday’s morning skate. “It’s kind of our job to have a little push-back.”

And you can say they carried that, and a little bit of offense, over to the Edmonton game.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
78°