Carter’s late goal lifts Kings over Oilers 3-1
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — The Los Angeles Kings weren’t about to let another game get away from them in Edmonton this season.
Jeff Carter scored the go-ahead goal with 49.6 seconds remaining in regulation to lift Los Angeles over the Oilers 3-1 on Tuesday night.
After the Oilers turned the puck over at the Kings blue line, Carter beat goalie Nikolai Khabibulin through the legs with a quick shot. Los Angeles then put the game away with an empty-net goal by Jarret Stoll.
“Obviously, we didn’t want it to take that long,” Carter said. “It’s just one of those games — Khabibulin was playing well. We were getting shots, but he was making saves. It’s never easy in this building, but you have to stick with it for 60, 65 minutes, whatever it takes.”
The Kings were relieved to leave town with two points after a disappointing loss in Edmonton last month, when rookie Nail Yakupov scored with 4.7 seconds left to send the game to overtime before Sam Gagner finished off a 2-1 Oilers victory.
“It was really nice to have it go the other way this time around,” Stoll said. “We came here for the two points and this time we got them. We stuck with it for all of the game and played the right way and deserved the win. Now we just have to get a string of wins together and become a bit more consistent overall.”
Colin Fraser also scored for the Stanley Cup champions, who have won three of four. Jonathan Quick made 23 saves.
“Quicky always makes some big saves for us,” Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said. “He was great. I think he made something like three breakaway saves, and that’s huge. If those go in, it’s a completely different game and we probably don’t win it.”
Gagner had a goal for the Oilers and Khabibulin stopped 35 shots.
“It’s frustrating to lose a game in the last minute,” Khabibulin said. “They were a more organized team than us tonight, it seemed.”
Edmonton had the best early chances. Taylor Hall dropped a pass to Jordan Eberle just 3 minutes in, but he hit the post behind Quick. A minute later, Quick was forced to come up with a big toe save on another solid opportunity for Hall.
The Kings took a 1-0 lead at 4:44 of the second period. Khabibulin made a save on a long shot by Jordan Nolan, but the Oilers were unable to clear the rebound and Fraser swooped in for his first of the season.
Los Angeles had most of the momentum in the period, at one point outshooting Edmonton 13-1, but the Oilers fought back to tie it.
Seconds after Khabibulin made a diving save after an odd bounce off the boards, Edmonton connected on the power play when Gagner’s shot beat a screened Quick at 16:50.
“Even though the shot clock didn’t show it, we out-chanced them quite a bit,” Oilers coach Ralph Krueger said. “We just couldn’t generate the type of offense we would have liked to down the stretch. The bounce at the end was of course, painful. If you look at the game, I think going to overtime and splitting this up would have been probably the right result, but we have to take it. We missed an opportunity to play our game the whole way. It’s a bounce we have to swallow.”
Edmonton once again had a great chance denied 3 minutes into the third when Quick stoned Hall point blank on a shot from the top of the crease.
The Kings finish a three-game road trip in Calgary on Wednesday. The Oilers play the fourth game of a five-game homestand Thursday against Minnesota before heading out on a nine-game road swing.
NOTES: It was the second of three games between the teams this season. ... Los Angeles came into the game having scored the fewest goals of any NHL team this season, with 30 in 13 games. ... Khabibulin made his second start in the Edmonton net this season after coming in to start the second period and earning his first win in more than a year in the Oilers’ come-from-behind 6-4 win over Colorado on Saturday. ... Kings defensemen Alec Martinez (upper body) and Willie Mitchell (knee) remained out and are day to day, while Matt Greene (back) is out indefinitely. ... Teemu Hartikainen was back in the lineup for the Oilers, while Lennart Petrell (head) and Ryan Jones (eye) are day to day. Anton Lander (foot) and Andy Sutton (knee) are out indefinitely. ... Former Oilers forward Dustin Penner played in just his seventh game of the season for the Kings.