The Los Angeles Kings coughed up a late lead and lost again, this time after the Edmonton Oilers scored a game-tying goal with 4.7 seconds remaining in regulation. The Kings slid into the third period with a 1-0 advantage, and held on tight until the final moments, when Edmonton Oilers rookie Nail Yakupov tied it with just under five seconds to go in the game. Center Sam Gagner then scored the game-winning goal 3:01 into overtime, completing an impressive comeback by a young and talented Oilers team.
It looked as if the Kings were going to avoid their second final period meltdown in 3 nights, when an earlier goal by Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was waived off with just 1:05 remaining in regulation. Nugents' goal was scored while the Kings were killing a late tripping penalty to forward Jeff Carter, and the Oilers had pulled their goalie Devan Dubnyk, giving them a six on four advantage. Referees ruled that Gagner had interfered with Kings' goaltender Jonathan Quick, and overturned the intial call on the ice after reviewing the play. The Rexall Place crowd went berserk, protesting the referees' decision by throwing trash onto the ice. The game had to be delayed as a result, while employees worked to clear the ice. The Kings would maintain a 1-0 lead when play finally resumed, but only until Yakupov netted the game-tying goal almost exactly a minute later.
Carter scored the lone goal for the Kings, his first of the season, while forward Kyle Clifford continued his impressive play in 2013, earning an assist on the second period goal. The assist was Clifford's fourth point (1 goal, 3 assists) of the season.
Defenseman Drew Doughty continued to play enormous minutes for the Kings, with veteran defensemen Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene still out of the lineup due to injury. Doughty played over half the game on Thursday, logging 33:25 of ice time, after playing nearly 30 minutes in Tuesday's loss to Colorado, with 29:53.
Although Quick lost his first shutout of the season with Yakupov's late goal, the 27-year-old still had his best performance of the young season, stopping 37 of 39 shots. Quick has looked rusty at times during the early portion of 2013, but Thursday's performance offered a display of his potential and capabilities, even though his team didn't win.
The Kings also gave up a 1-0 lead in the third period of their previous game, a 3-1 lose to the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday.
With the loss, the defending champions drop to 0-2-1, in a shortened season where lengthy losing streaks are magnified, although they did earn there first point of the season in Thursday's overtime loss. The Kings will play on the road again Saturday, facing the team they knocked out of last season's Western Conference Final, the Phoenix Coyotes.
Tags: Edmonton Oilers, Hockey, Jeff Carter, Jonathan Quick, Kyle Clifford, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Kings, Nail Yakupov, NHL