Key play: Nick Shore scored with 1:39 remaining in the game to give the Kings a 4-3 victory Saturday over the Edmonton Oilers at Staples Center. Shore’s goal, his second of the season, came only seconds after a power play ended.
Pivotal performers: Marian Gaborik and Tanner Pearson each scored a goal and had an assist to propel the Kings to a 2-0 in the first period. Gaborik’s goal was his first since Oct. 18 against the Colorado Avalanche, ending an 11-game drought.
Quote, unquote: “We had some good shifts together,” Gaborik of clicking with Pearson. “We had some good forechecks. We were better getting to pucks in the first period. It’s always good to get on the board, especially in a win. Hopefully, I can pick it up from here.”
Milestone moments: Center Anze Kopitar played in his 700th game in the NHL, all with the Kings. He is one of eight players to have played 700 games with the Kings. Drew Doughty played in his 541st game, tying Sean O’Donnell for fifth on the team’s all-time list among defensemen.
Between the pipes: Jonathan Quick returned to the Kings’ net after Jhonas Enroth started in a 2-1 victory Thursday over the New York Islanders. Cam Talbot started for the Oilers after Anders Nilsson was in goal for a victory Wednesday over the Ducks and a loss Thursday against the Arizona Coyotes.
Injury updates: Oilers rookie Connor McDavid remained sidelined by a broken collarbone suffered during a Nov. 3 game against the Philadelphia Flyers. McDavid, the No. 1 overall draft pick last June, is expected to be out for several months. Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins didn’t play because of an illness.
Kings coach Darryl Sutter. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht/Los Angeles Daily News)
Kings coach Darryl Sutter called out Dustin Brown on Thursday morning, several hours before a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Staples Center. Sutter wasn’t happy with the Kings’ captain’s glaring lack of production during the season’s first 12 games.
“He hasn’t played really well lately,” Sutter said of Brown, who was held without a point in three games in a row and six of seven. “We’re getting into regular season performances. They’re based on not just this year, but over the last couple seasons. He needs to be a better player.”
Sutter also expressed disappointment in anyone and everyone who has played on either wing alongside center Anze Kopitar to start 2015-16. Sutter didn’t name names beyond Brown’s, but it was clear he was speaking of Marian Gaborik, among others.
Kopitar returned to the Kings’ lineup after taking an illegal check to the head from Ryan Reaves that forced him from a 3-0 victory Tuesday over the Blues in St. Louis. Reaves was penalized for roughing on the first-period hit and fined $3,024.19 by the NHL one day later.
“I feel good, and the tests are good, so I’m good to go,” Kopitar said Thursday.
Check out the full story at http://www.dailynews.com/sports
Kings coach Darryl Sutter was direct and to the point when asked about his top line of Milan Lucic, Anze Kopitar and Marian Gaborik. He cut off a reporter who asked about the three, who combined for a minus-6 defensive rating and four shots on net. Each player was a minus-2. Kopitar had two shots and Lucic and Gaborik one apiece. So, here’s what Sutter had to say about them, “Flat.” That was it. Nothing more. He wasn’t wrong.