Talbot posts 2nd straight shutout as Oilers blank Kings
EDMONTON, Alberta -- The Los Angeles Kings aren't mathematically eliminated from the playoff race yet. However, after a 2-0 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Monday, their postseason hopes are on life support.
Cam Talbot made 35 saves for his second consecutive shutout, and Connor McDavid's two assists brought him to 82 points on the season, alone atop the NHL scoring chart, one ahead of Boston's Brad Marchand.
The Kings are six points behind the St. Louis Blues for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The Kings now have just 10 games left on the schedule. The Blues have a game in hand.
The Kings lost 5-2 to the Calgary Flames on Sunday. The Kings came into Alberta knowing that, to gain in the playoff race, they needed four points out of their games in Calgary and Edmonton. They got none.
They may look at this Alberta trip as the time when their era of dominance came to an end. A franchise that won Stanley Cups in 2012 and 2014 is now on life support.
Patrick Maroon opened the scoring just 1:04 after the opening faceoff. Kings goalie Jonathan Quick (29 saves) stopped the first shot from Connor McDavid; the puck bounced into the air, and Maroon took a swipe and knocked it into the goal.
The Oilers doubled the lead at 12:47 of the first. With the Kings' Jake Muzzin in the penalty box for interference, Milan Lucic slammed home the rebound off a McDavid shot.
The Oilers outshot the Kings 15-7 in the first. If not for some acrobatic saves from Quick, it would have been lights out for Los Angeles after the opening 20 minutes. His best save came after McDavid blew around Kings defensemen Drew Doughty. Quick did the splits to stop McDavid's jam attempt at the post, then held his ground on the rebound attempt.
The Kings were able to push back in the second period, but Talbot was the equal to the 19 shots he faced in the frame, including a wonderful glove save on Marian Gaborik.
The Kings struggled to create chances in the third and, as time ran out, their terrible Alberta road trip came to a not-so-merciful end.
NOTES: Edmonton LW Milan Lucic's power-play goal ended a streak of 34 straight penalties killed by the Kings on the road, a run that dated back 13 games to Jan. 23. ... The Oilers and Kings still have two more games left against each other, March 28 in Edmonton and April 4 in Los Angeles. ... The teams split their previous two meetings, with Edmonton winning 3-1 at home 3-1, while the Kings won 4-2 at the Staples Center. .... The Oilers scratched D Matthew Benning, RW Iiro Pakarinen, LW Anton Slepyshev and LW Jujhar Khaira. ... The Kings scratched C Andy Andreoff, C Nick Shore and D Kevin Gravel.