LOS ANGELES, CA – Welcome back home.
The return to STAPLES Center saw the Kings dictate play with another balanced performance that exemplified solid play on both ends of the ice, and showcased another outstanding performance from rookie goaltender Martin Jones.
The Kings pocketed two points, beating Edmonton 3-0.
The Kings beat an Oilers club that has been struggling all season long, a team that has the worst road record in the Western Conference. The Kings have learned from previous games, though, to never overlook an opponent.
After a first period that saw Edmonton goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov make a slew of saves on prime scoring opportunities, Dwight King finally found the back of the net late in the first frame to give the Kings a 1-0 lead.
Drew Doughty, who was given all of the time and space in the world atop Edmonton’s zone, found Dwight King wide-open on the back-door, and King – who showed tremendous patience, snuck the puck past Bryzgalov for his ninth goal of the season with 3:22 remaining in the first period.
Neither club would score in the second frame, which saw the Kings enter the third and final period holding tight to a 1-0 lead.
Coming into tonight, the Kings were a perfect 11-0-0 when entering the final 20 minutes of play with the lead.
They would extend that mark to 12-0-0 tonight.
Jordan Nolan provided some much needed insurance with less than five minutes left in the third period. Matt Greene fed Nolan a well-placed chip pass, and Nolan skated in alone on Bryzgalov, beating the Oilers goaltender for his fifth goal of the year to give the Kings a 2-0 lead with 4:38 left to play.
Dustin Brown put the nails in the coffin, tapping home an empty-net goal, his seventh tally of the season, with :39.7 seconds showing on the clock.
Brown’s empty-net goal registers as his 400th career NHL point.
Martin Jones got the call after sitting out Sunday’s game in Chicago, and was downright stellar in his return to the crease tonight. Jones stopped all of Edmonton’s 24 shots, and now has three shutouts in six games.
Jones is now 6-0-0 with a .972 SV% and a 0.82 GAA. No goaltender has ever gone 6-0-0 to start their career in a Kings uniform, until now.
The scoring was spread out once again for the Kings, as all three goals came from different players, and seven different players recorded at least one point.
With a 23-8-4 record, which is good for 50 points, the Kings now sit at third-place in the Western Conference.
The Kings will continue their homestand Thursday night, as the San Jose Sharks come to town for a 7:30PM puck-drop at STAPLES Center.