Kevin Fiala, Kings, drives power-surge past Oilers – Orange County Register

LOS ANGELES — The Kings have delivered a clear message to the Edmonton Oilers twice this season: Last year is over.

They defeated Edmonton 6-3 Monday night at Crypto.com Arena, the Kings’ second win in as many encounters since the Oilers eliminated them in seven games in a first-round playoff series last spring.

“I don’t know if we beat them at their own game, we have a pretty good game too,” said Kings coach Todd McLellan.

Edmonton’s Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl may not have conjured up comparisons to past legends, but Kings winger Kevin Fiala channeled his inner Guy Lafleur on Monday after scoring a hat-trick in Las Vegas on Saturday. While he may not match McDavid’s eight four-point performances so far, it was Fiala’s second such performance this season.

“He’s one of the better one-on-ones I’ve played with in my career,” defenseman Drew Doughty said of Fiala. “He dominated tonight. He was incredible. He could have had seven or eight points.”

Fiala’s two goals, two assists and his boundless swagger overwhelmed the Oilers in a contest fraught with 15 minor penalties, four of which resulted in King’s power-play goals (the Kings’ first four-goal game on the power play in more than one Decade). . Winger Adrian Kempe scored two goals and added an assist, and Doughty and winger Viktor Arvidsson also had several points as the Kings improved to 9-2-1 since December 15. Pheonix Copley’s platoon rolled on with his 11th win and 28 saves.

Center Phillip Danault prevailed in his third fight of the season after only fighting twice in his entire career prior to this season. There were three fights in the game and the Kings’ penalty shootout was tough too, going 6 for 6.

Wingers Kailer Yamamoto and Ryan McLeod scored for Edmonton, as did McDavid, the NHL’s leading goal and points producer. Stuart Skinner and former Kings goalie Jack Campbell combined for 32 saves.

Arvidsson ended the evening with a late goal without a goal.

The Kings had cushioned their lead when a long pass and chip game sent Iafallo on Campbell to an insurance goal at 12-16 to play. It came in handy as McDavid bagged Fiala and scored a breakaway goal 1:42 later.

With 3:24 in the second period, Edmonton scored back when a faceoff win in the offensive zone resulted in a close-range backhand goal for McLeod.

Around the seven-minute mark of the second period, Fiala continued his outburst in a shift in which he attempted a lacrosse-style goal, set up two sterling chances for Gabe Vilardi and took a penalty in quick succession. Although the Kings didn’t score, they converted on the next opportunity, once again thanks to Fiala.

He hit Kempe for a one-timer from the right circle that Campbell appeared to catch with his gauntlet. However, the puck had fully crossed the goal line and after video review, the Kings were awarded a goal. It was Kempe’s second goal and Fiala’s fourth point of the evening with more than 28 minutes remaining.

The middle frame continued the save to both penalty areas and the Kings conceded for the third time when Fiala played a stretch pass to Kempe, who hit the blue line at speed and scored a breakaway goal at 3:51. That goal knocked Skinner out of the game and opened the door for Campbell to confront his former club.

The Kings scored two goals with man advantage and took two penalties in the first 20 minutes, but their PK still effectively scored an Edmonton goal when a Danault penalty expired. Defender Darnell Nurse’s shot caught Rasmus Kupari’s bat, and then Yamamoto tapped the fluttering puck just hard enough to splash Copley with 2:58 left in the third.

https://www.ocregister.com/2023/01/09/kevin-fiala-kings-ride-power-surge-past-oilers/ Kevin Fiala, Kings, drives power-surge past Oilers – Orange County Register

Russell Falcon

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