Manor Kings Begin Road Trip With 4-2 Loss To Oilers; Kempe Injured

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On a night that was already trending in the wrong direction, things may have gone even worse for the Kings in the final minutes of Monday’s game vs. the Oilers. After leading 2-1 late in the second period, they had already fallen behind Edmonton on the scoreboard, and then this happened:



LA coach Jim Hiller did not have an immediate update on Adrian Kempe when asked for an update postgame. Obviously, losing one of their top offensive threats could be a major blow to the Kings, especially at a time when they’re already without Viktor Arvidsson, Carl Grundstrom, and Mikey Anderson.

That will have to wait until Tuesday, though.

Regarding the game as a whole, LA had a solid start to perhaps their most important game of the season, yet ultimately fell 4-2 to the Oilers.

Trevor Moore snapped a pair of notable droughts with his opening goal in the first period. It was his first goal in 13 games, but more importantly, it was the first even-strength goal for LA since last Tuesday vs. Columbus. Rookie Alex Laferriere added another 5-on-5 goal for the Kings midway through the second period, putting his team up 2-1.



Hiller’s squad controlled most of the first 40 minutes but found themselves unable to bring that strong play into the final frame of regulation. Tied 2-2 entering the third period, LA found themselves forced to defend Edmonton for the majority of play from that point forward and compounded the issue by not generating many chances themselves.

As is the case most times these longtime rivals get together, special teams played an important factor in Monday’s contest. The Kings failed to convert on a 5-on-3 in the middle frame and the Oilers quickly responded with a goal on a power play of their own. LA took two more penalties later in the third period; Edmonton scored just after the latter of these power plays expired.

For Hiller and the Kings, it was another disappointing result offensively; marking the sixth time in the past eight games they have scored two goals or fewer.

#NHL GameScore Impact Card for Los Angeles Kings on 2024-02-26:#GoKingsGo #GKG pic.twitter.com/5BvnXCx4Xf

— HockeyStatCards (@hockeystatcards) February 27, 2024


Game Management: As most head coaches would explain, being in control of the game is crucial when it comes to beating a team like Edmonton. This aspect of the gameplan got away from the Kings tonight. As evidenced on the Oilers first goal late in the first period, a play resulting from a Kings turnover. This sent LA into intermission tied instead of leading. Even with the Kings playing better hockey since Hiller took over behind the bench, game management is still an area that they are working on improving.

Pacific Division Race: After Monday’s action, the Kings sit two points back of the Oilers for second in the Pacific Division; although Edmonton has one game in hand. Additionally, LA only trails Vegas by three points with a game in hand. With time winding down in the 2023-24 regular season, it all adds to the importance of the two remaining games on this road trip, as well as next week’s homestand Next up on Tuesday will be the Calgary Flames, another opponent with playoff aspirations.

Stat Sheet Takeaways: The Kings threw 40 shots at Edmonton goalie Stuart Skinner, but only managed to score twice. LA has generated 90 shots over the past two games, holding a shooting percentage of just over 4% in that span. While logic says those numbers will even out through the next few games, it’s nonetheless concerning for a team with the quality of offensive talent that the Kings possess.

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