Manor Rapid Review: Kings Fall to Oilers, Second Place Dreams Slipping Away

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The Kings dropped the second game of their road trip, losing 4-1 to the Oilers on Thursday night.

Despite the loss, Thursday’s final score can be labeled as deceptive. The Kings outshot the Oilers by a 33-20 margin and stayed in the game until the very end. An empty-net goal from Edmonton sealed LA’s fate. The Kings undoubtedly put forward a strong 60-minutes compared to their Feb 26th contest at Rogers Place, a game that ended in a 4-2 win for the Oilers.

The season series against Edmonton ended with a 1-2-1 record for LA. It’s tough to take too much away from these results, however. The Kings have matched up well against the Oilers this season

Unfortunately for LA, Thursday’s NHL action also yielded a win for Vegas. The Kings now hold the second wild card spot in the Western Conference as opposed to third in the Pacific Division.

Special Teams: Given LA’s penalty kill has improved considerably since last year’s playoffs – and it’s currently ranked #1 in the NHL – it’s perhaps the best shot they have at slowing Edmonton down. On Thursday, however, this wasn’t the case. Each team was awarded two power plays apiece; the Kings failed to capitalize on either while the Oilers managed to get one past Cam Talbot. As is a prominent theme whenever these two rivals meet up, the power play and penalty kill played a large role in Thursday night’s outcome.

KALIYEV GETS LA ON THE BOARD
🚨
@LAKings I #GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/0TNidxw5c5

— Bally Sports West (@BallySportWest) March 29, 2024


Kaliyev Returns, Kaliyev Scores: Arthur Kaliyev returned to LA’s lineup after sitting out nearly two weeks of action. The 22-year-old made good use of his limited ice time (just under six minutes) on Thursday, as he spoiled Stuart Skinner’s shutout in the final frame. It’s an encouraging sign for the young forward; he’s struggled to take advantage of his opportunities when he’s returned to the lineup over the course of this season, but his goal on Thursday might have the potential to spark something. It’ll be interesting to see where he slots in going forward, as Carl Grundström appears to be on the cusp of returning.

Stat Sheet Takeaways: Winning 57% of their faceoffs against the Oilers is a positive sign for the Kings. The center depth for LA showed its capabilities once again on Thursday, which is especially impressive given Edmonton is no slouch down the middle either.

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