Moments before Drew Doughty walked into the Kings dressing room, Dustin Brown sat at his locker, dumbfounded as to why any media attention would be given to him.
Like so many games this season, Doughty was front and center, this time in a controversial play that demanded action and retribution.
The Kings certainly did their Drew diligence.
Their prized defenseman was briefly knocked out of Tuesday’s game by an illegal hit to the head from the Edmonton Oilers’ Patrick Maroon. Derek Forbort delivered immediate justice by fighting Maroon, and Forbort’s teammates followed with three power-play goals on the ensuing five-minute power play in a 5-0 win, backed by Jonathan Quick’s 47th career shutout.
“When stuff like that happens, your team just comes together,” Doughty said. “Not that we were ever apart, but our team came together and scoring three goals on the power play to really [make Edmonton pay] was really awesome.”
In an episode reminiscent of the five-minute boarding major by the New Jersey Devils’ Steve Bernier that facilitated the Kings’ 2012 Stanley Cup win, the Kings got goals by Brown, Trevor Lewis and Adrian Kempe to render the rest of the game moot in front of 18,347 at Rogers Place.
Quick was spot-on in his 32 saves, and Brown poured in another goal.
Their three power-play goals were as many as the Kings scored in the previous 14 games. Brown said the Maroon play prompted such a step on the gas pedal.
“That’s part of it, especially when it’s probably our best player,” Brown said. “But probably more so, [it’s a] divisional game, we can finish the game in the first five [minutes], and that’s what we did.”
Maroon caught Doughty high behind the net late in the second period and was given a match penalty, an ejection for attempting to injure a player, for an illegal check to the head. By league rules, a player is automatically suspended for a match penalty until the incident is reviewed.
Maroon is a former Ducks forward known for his burly play, but he is not perceived as a dirty player.
“He just got me right in the head,” Doughty said.“I didn’t even have the puck, that’s why I was so shocked by it. I’ve known Maroon for a long time. He’s just trying to finish a hit, and I don’t know that he meant to try to hurt me or any-thing like that. I forgive him.”
The Kings got another injury scare when Anze Kopitar went to the bench to get his left arm and shoulder looked at because of a hit by Milan Lucic. But Kopitar soldiered on and coach John Stevens said, “As far as I know, he’s fine.”
Doughty helped defend Edmonton’s Connor McDavid, who literally skated circles around the Kings in a dazzling first-period shift. But the Oilers were defeated 5-0 for the second consecutive game, and they even lost a fourth-line matchup when Andy Andreoff scored on a two on one for the game’s first goal.
“I thought we played hard, I thought we stuck with the game plan,” Stevens said. “That’s a good team. They come at you. They’re as good a team on the rush as you’re going to find in the league, and McDavid needs special attention.”