Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles Kings’

The Minnesota Wild have traded pending restricted free-agent forward Kevin Fiala‘s rights to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for their 2022 first-round pick and prospect Brock Faber, the team announced Wednesday.

The Kings then signed Fiala to a seven-year pact with an average annual value of $7.875 million. The contract also includes a no-movement clause for three seasons beginning in 2023-24, per CapFriendly.

Fiala is coming off a breakthrough campaign where he posted a career-high 33 goals and 85 points in 82 contests. He scored 27 goals and 67 points at even strength, which is welcome for a Kings team that ranked amongst the bottom 10 in five-on-five goals last season.

However, he faded in the playoffs and mustered just three assists as the St. Louis Blues eliminated the Wild in six games during the first round.

The 25-year-old winger played last season on a one-year, $5.1-million deal and is entering his ninth NHL campaign. Selected by the Nashville Predators 11th overall in 2014, Fiala has 124 goals and 159 assists in 419 career NHL games.

The Wild are entering a salary-cap crunch in 2022-23 after buying out the remaining four years of Ryan Suter‘s and Zach Parise‘s contracts last summer. The pair will count for almost $13 million against the cap next season and $14.7 million in the 2023-24 and 2024-25 campaigns.

Wild general manager Bill Guerin told reporters shortly after the trade that he knew there was virtually no chance Minnesota would be able to retain Fiala’s services.

“To keep him, we’d have to trade three guys. … It just didn’t fit,” he said, according to The Athletic’s Michael Russo.

Faber, a 19-year-old defenseman, was selected by the Kings in the second round of the 2020 draft. He scored two goals and 12 assists in 32 games for the University of Minnesota in 2021-22.

The Wild now hold picks No. 19 and No. 24 in the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft. Minnesota was in a similar situation in 2021 and took goaltender Jesper Wallstedt and blue-liner Carson Lambos with its pair of first-round selections.

The young Kings enjoyed a strong 2021-22 season that included a surprise trip to the playoffs, where they took the Edmonton Oilers to seven games in the opening round.

Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar has been named the winner of the 2021-22 Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award, the league announced Wednesday.

The honor is given annually to “the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice, during the regular season and who plays a leading role in his community growing the game of hockey.” The winner is chosen by Messier himself.

In addition to helping grow the game in Southern California, Kopitar also hosts a youth hockey academy in his home nation of Slovenia.

“We’ve covered quite a few countries. The word is spreading,” Kopitar said during an interview with Messier after being announced as the winner. “I think last year we covered, altogether, 13 countries, so the kids are coming and wanting to learn and wanting to start up with hockey, and I’m very thankful to be a part of the hockey community. It’s given me so much.”

Kopitar led the Kings with 67 points in 81 regular-season games while helping his team clinch a spot in the playoffs.

The 34-year-old has spent 16 seasons with Los Angeles, and he’s sported the “C” since the 2016-17 campaign.

Kopitar is the 16th winner of the award. Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron took home the honor last season.

The Los Angeles Kings have signed general manager Rob Blake to a three-year contract extension, reports TSN’s Pierre LeBrun.

Blake’s current contract was set to expire June 30, and an official announcement on the new deal is expected in the coming weeks, LeBrun added.

After a 20-year playing career – which included 14 seasons with the Kings – landed Blake in the Hockey Hall of Fame, he joined Los Angeles’ front office as vice president of hockey operations and AGM in 2013 before he was promoted to GM in 2017.

In his first few years on the job, Blake traded plenty of veteran players to acquire draft picks, and the Kings now boast one of the deepest prospect pipelines in the NHL. Los Angeles has picked three times in the top 10 since Blake took over.

Other notable moves in Blake’s tenure include signing Phillip Danault in free agency and trading for Viktor Arvidsson last summer, as well as signing franchise icon Drew Doughty to an eight-year, $88-million extension in 2018.

The Kings qualified for the playoffs this season for the first time since 2018 but bowed out in seven games to the Edmonton Oilers in Round 1.

Connor McDavid had a goal and an assist as the Edmonton Oilers advanced through to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, beating the Los Angeles Kings 2-0 in Game 7 on Saturday night.

Cody Ceci also scored and Mike Smith made 28 saves for his second shutout of the playoffs for the Oilers, who last won a Game 7 in 1998 and celebrated their first playoff series win since 2017.

Jonathan Quick made 39 saves for the Kings, who have not won a playoff series since they won their second Stanley Cup in 2014 — also the last year they won a series in a Game 7.

There was no scoring in a tense opening period, with the Oilers putting 10 shots on Quick, while the Kings sent seven on Smith. Quick came into the game with a 4-0 career record in Game 7s.

Edmonton came close to scoring midway though the second when a puck was heading over the goal line in a scramble, but was fished to safety just in time by Kings forward Andreas Athanasiou.

The Oilers finally broke the deadlock with 6:45 remaining in the second period as McDavid fed a pass from behind the net to a pinching Ceci, who rifled a shot over Quick’s shoulder.

Edmonton came close to extending its lead a couple times early in the third as Josh Archibald narrowly missed putting a puck through Quick’s legs and Kailer Yamamoto hit a post with most of an open net to shoot at.

The Oilers finally got some insurance with 3:53 left in the third on a terrific individual effort from McDavid, who drove behind the net before sending his second backhand attempt into it for his fourth goal and league-leading 14th playoff point. McDavid had multiple-point efforts in six of the seven games in the series.

The Oilers will now advance to play either Calgary or Dallas, who are going to a Game 7 of their own on Sunday.

Notes: Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse returned after serving a one-game suspension in Game 6 for head-butting Phillip Danault in Game 5. … There was some concern after Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl and Brett Kulak missed the morning skate, but both were able to play, leaving the Oilers will a healthy roster to choose from. … The Kings remained without Viktor Arvidsson (lower body), Drew Doughty (wrist) and Sean Walker (knee). … There were no scoring changes in any of the games of the series, with the team that scored first winning each gamer.

Evander Kane had two goals and an assist, Connor McDavid added a goal and two assists, Tyson Barrie scored the go-ahead goal in the third period and the Edmonton Oilers avoided elimination with a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings in Game 6 of their first-round Western Conference series.

Kane has seven goals in the series, including three multi-goal games. The road team has won four times in the series.

Cody Ceci added a pair of assists and Mike Smith stopped 30 shots for the Oilers, who host the deciding game Saturday night in Edmonton.

Sean Durzi and Carl Grundstrom scored for Los Angeles, which was looking to wrap up its first series since defeating the New York Rangers in the 2014 Stanley Cup Final. Jonathan Quick made 33 saves.

Barrie gave the Oilers a 3-2 lead at 14:50 of the third with a snap shot inside the far post after getting the pass from Leon Draisaitl. Kane then added an empty-net goal with one minute remaining.

McDavid scored on a wraparound 1:40 into the game for his third goal of the series. It was the third-fastest goal by an Edmonton player when facing elimination.

Kane extended the lead with a redirect of Brett Kulak’s shot from the point at 1:50 of the second period. It was his first goal since he had a hat trick in the Oilers’ 8-2 victory in Game 3.

Rookie defenseman Durzi got Los Angeles on the board at 13:59 of the second period on the power play with his first goal of the postseason, a one-timer from the center point.

Grundstrom had the equalizer 29 seconds into the third with a slap shot over Smith’s blocker after getting the feed from Matt Roy.

Hockey’s most staunch cliché decrees that you’ve got to play the whole 60 to win in the playoffs. 

The Edmonton Oilers tried to win a playoff game on about 15 minutes of hockey that you — that they — would consider adequate for the occasion, and in the end they got exactly what they deserved. And so did the Los Angeles Kings

Adrian Kempe scored at 1:12 of an overtime session to give L.A. a 5-4 victory and a 3-2 series lead over an Edmonton team for whom the moment appeared to simply be too big in Game 5. 

“We haven’t brought our best game yet,” said Oilers captain Connor McDavid who carried his mates to a third period comeback with a goal and two primary assists on the night. “They’re a good team… so it’ll take a complete game to beat them. And we haven’t brought that yet.” 

Was McDavid inferring that too many of his teammates were no-shows? We would doubt that’s what he meant, though he’d be spot on if he had. 

Even Leon Draisaitl — who is either sick, injured, or both — saved his impact for two third period goals, but was not a relevant player in the opening 40 minutes or overtime. As for the rest of the group, there were too many passengers here even for the great McDavid to lug over the finish line. 

“As the game wore on, we found more and more players,” offered head coach Jay Woodcroft. “Being down early, proved too difficult a hill to climb.” 

Did the Edmonton Oilers choke? 

That might be giving the Kings the short shift, as they had a lot to do with the Oilers’ part-time performance. But we’ll say this: An Oilers team that had the series in their palm — at home for a series-shifting Game 5 — spit the bit big-time here, coming up microscopically small in a moment that required much, much more than what McDavid’s team offered on Tuesday night. 

“We just got outskated early on,” assessed Draisaitl. “Once we found our legs it was a lot better for us. But yeah, five goals against obviously isn’t gonna cut it.” 

It was an extra session in which the Oilers never gained meaningful possession of the puck, as Kempe buzzed past Duncan Keith and beat Mike Smith, who was only OK in this game, a step down from his previous playoff work. 

The Kings lead this series 3-2 heading home to Los Angeles, and have to be feeling great about themselves this morning. 

The Oilers, on the other hand, are due a long look in the mirror to figure out how they could trot out their worst effort of the series in the most important game. 

Sure, Edmonton forged a heroic third-period comeback to force overtime. But that final score is deceiving — the Kings were the better team for more than just the lion’s share of this one. 

“We scored four tonight. That needs to be enough in a playoff game,” McDavid said. “Obviously it’s not. We’ve got to keep the puck out of our net.” 

Somehow, the Oilers have now lost five straight playoff games in which Draisaitl and McDavid each score a goal. 

It was the first overtime game of the series, and just the fourth time in Round 1 across the NHL. But it was how this game reached extra time that had a sold out Rogers Place apoplectic, a comeback for the ages on a night where the home side didn’t look like it had the gumption for anything nearly this dramatic. 

After a thoroughly disappointing opening 40 minutes, Edmonton scored three times while surrendering a goal, as Draisaitl cashed at 12:33 (shorthanded) and 15:08 to tie the game. Woodcroft went to the whip on his top players, pairing Draisaitl and McDavid throughout the frame, and the duo got Edmonton into an overtime they had no business reaching. 

After 40 minutes the score was 3-1 for the Kings, and they led the shots on goal 25-14, too. That’s right, in a game that would define their season, this high-powered machine that combined for 14 goals in Games 2 and 3 had that many shots on net through 40 minutes. 

“It’s disappointing,” said McDavid. “Obviously, (you) never like to lose. But they give you seven games for a reason and we need to go get one on the road and bring it back to Edmonton.” 

We can debate whether the Oilers choked in Game 5, or whether the Kings should get more credit than that. 

But unless Edmonton puts together a two-game winning streak, starting Thursday in L.A., the ‘C’ word will define this series and this team. 

You can’t lose again, to another team that finished below you in the standings, and call it anything else.

Jonathan Quick lost his catching glove in the second period and still kept defending Los Angeles’ net, his bare left hand grasping at an Edmonton shot that went off the crossbar.

With the Kings reeling from back-to-back blowout losses and teetering on the brink of a daunting playoff deficit, their Stanley Cup-winning goalie grabbed hold of his teammates and confidently pulled them back into this series with the Oilers.

“If there was ever a night we needed somebody that’s been there and done that, it was tonight,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said.

Quick made 31 saves with and without his glove during a masterful performance, Carl Grundstrom scored two third-period goals and the Kings rebounded to even their first-round series with a 4-0 victory over Edmonton in Game 4 on Sunday night.

After Trevor Moore and Troy Stecher scored in the first period, Quick earned his 10th career playoff shutout while the Kings firmly shut down Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Los Angeles earned its first playoff victory on home ice since the club raised the Cup for the second time in 2014.

“We played the game that got us here,” Quick said after his 48th career playoff victory. “We got pucks deep, forechecked, blocked shots, pucks to the net, rebounds. We played the way we’ve been successful.”

Mike Smith stopped 42 shots for the Oilers, but McDavid, Draisaitl and Evander Kane all struggled for consistent scoring chances after two games of dominance — and much of the credit should be directed to Quick, who got chased during Edmonton’s eight-goal avalanche in Game 3.

He returned to play flawlessly behind a patchwork LA blue line missing stalwarts Drew Doughty and Sean Walker due to injuries.

“Our group had to step up, and it starts with the goaltender,” McLellan said. “He made some outstanding saves when he needed to, and then some of the players around him did some of the things they needed to, and that was a good sign.”

Edmonton’s frustrations and Los Angeles’ exuberance led to several stoppages and near-brawls in the final minutes. The bad feelings were set off when Grundstrom scored his first career playoff goal while sliding headfirst into Smith and the goalpost with 4:54 to play. Grundstrom added an empty-net goal with 1:31 left.

Game 5 is Tuesday night in Edmonton, with Game 6 back in Los Angeles on Thursday.

After getting humiliated by a combined 14-2 in the previous two games, the Kings again looked like the playoff-worthy team that won Game 1 in Edmonton. The Kings improved on faceoffs and on special teams, killing all three Oilers power plays after giving up five power-play goals and a short-handed goal in the first three games.

“We know they are going to respond, and we’re losing puck battles early and letting them get to our net a little too easy,” Edmonton center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said. “They put pucks on net and they worked, and we didn’t respond well enough. And that’s a tough team to come back on.”

Edmonton only got rolling late in the second period, but its best chances were repelled by Quick, the idiosyncratic goalie with two rings and ample postseason poise.

Moments after Quick lost his glove and still tried to make a save with his bare hand, he stopped a point-blank chance with an instinctive flick of his blocker. McLellan wondered why the game wasn’t stopped for the lost glove, but he didn’t wonder why Quick kept playing.

Quick shrugged when asked about his unorthodox brilliance.

“You just see the puck, try and get something in front of it,” he said.

McDavid was active in the third period, yet he also took an ill-advised interference penalty next to the Kings’ goal with 9:40 to play.

The Kings retained their defensive discipline for most of the third before Grundstrom muscled in his first career playoff goal while getting taken down roughly by defenseman Darnell Nurse. Edmonton challenged the ruling, but lost.

“They came and pushed, and we didn’t push back hard enough,” Nurse said. “And that’s how you get the lead there. We played into their style of play. … It’s a good team that weren’t just going to roll over and let us come steal another game in their building.”

The Kings took their first lead since Game 1 when Moore converted a slick pass from Phillip Danault midway through the first period for his second goal of the series. Moore, a Southern California native, got his only previous playoff experience in 2019 with Toronto.

During 4-on-4 play later in the first, Stecher’s shot from above the faceoff circle deflected off Duncan Keith’s stick blade and went in for the depth defenseman’s first goal for the Kings.

LINEUP CHANGES

Stecher, acquired from Detroit in February, played his first postseason game for LA in place of the scratched Jordan Spence.

Edmonton forward Derek Ryan sat out after getting in an awkward collision late in Game 3. Journeyman Derick Brassard took his lineup spot, making a playoff appearance for his sixth NHL team.

Evander Kane picked up his first hat trick in a Stanley Cup playoff game, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Zach Hyman each had two goals, and the Edmonton Oilers dominated the Los Angeles Kings for the second straight game, posting a 8-2 victory in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series Friday night.

Kane is the 12th different player to score a playoff hat trick with the Oilers and the first since Connor McDavid in 2020. He was part of an Edmonton offense that put up eight goals in a playoff game for the first time since it beat Chicago 8-4 in a 1990 conference final game.

“We’re a real good team with the lead. I think scoring early, countering their push there in the first period and getting two was a good start for us,” Kane said. “We knew we had a lot better after that first period going in the second. I thought we did a great job of responding to the push ourselves.”

It is the second straight game with at least two goals for Kane, who came to the Oilers in midseason after he was released by San Jose. The last time an Edmonton player accomplished that was Bernie Nicholls in 1992 in Games 2 and 3 of the 1992 Smythe Division Semifinals, also against the Kings.

Kane had a pair of rebound goals in the second period and finished the hat trick with a wrist shot with 20 seconds remaining.

“He’s a finisher, someone who can score, and he’s paired up with Connor (McDavid) who is one of the best playmakers in the world, the best player in the world. If you pair a finisher with the best player in the world, good things are going to happen,” Edmonton coach Jay Woodcroft said.

McDavid added a goal and two assists for the Oilers, who have scored six or more goals in consecutive playoff games for the first time since Games 4 and 5 of the 2006 Western Conference Finals against San Jose.

The Oilers have a 2-1 lead in the series. Game 4 is Sunday night in Los Angeles.

“We’re just finding ways to win games. That’s all that matters this time of year. It doesn’t really matter how it looks or what happens,” McDavid said. “I think we’ve done a good job of playing well, playing hard, we’ve been physical. They kind of pushed back today and I thought we responded well.”

Leon Draisaitl had a goal and assist for the Oilers. He is the third Edmonton player in the past 25 years to score in each of the first three games of a postseason, joining McDavid (2020) and Bill Guerin (1998). Cody Ceci had three assists and Mike Smith made 44 saves.

Anze Kopitar had a goal and an assist while Phillip Danault also scored for Los Angeles, who had a 45-37 advantage in shots on goal. Jonathan Quick and Cal Peterson each allowed four goals with Quick making 13 saves in 28 minutes and Peterson stopping 16 shots the final 32 minutes.

“I can summarize it all up for you, we can all go home. We weren’t any good, we’re really disappointed, we got trapped playing their game. You can ask me about individuals, I’ll give you the same answer for all of them. They weren’t any good, and we have to regroup tomorrow,” coach Todd McLellan said in a press conference that only went 31 seconds.

It was the first time in Hyman’s seven-year career he has had a two-goal game in the playoffs.

Nugent-Hopkins scored his goals in a 81-second span during the third period.

Edmonton won 6-0 Wednesday night and built a five-goal lead midway through the second period of this one as it took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Draisaitl took a cross-ice pass from McDavid on a 2-on-1 rush and slid a wrist shot past Quick 3:50 into the first period to open the scoring.

Edmonton didn’t waste any time extending its lead to 2-0 with a power-play goal at 6:07. McDavid drew in a defender and then found Hyman open at the back post.

The Oilers then put it away with three second-period goals in a span of 3:24.

Kane knocked in a rebound at 6:27 and Hyman chased Quick at 7:42 with a wrist shot to the near post to make it 4-0. Kane then put a rebound through Petersen’s legs at 9:51.

Los Angeles averted a shutout 16 seconds after Kane’s second goal when Kopitar went top shelf on a backhand in front of the net. Danault got the Kings within 5-2 on a power-play goal at 17:29.

“That’s a big slap in the face tonight, and we gotta regroup. Luckily, it’s only 2-1 in the series, so we gotta regroup and step up next game,” Danault said.

MARVELOUS McDAVID

McDavid — who has six points in the series (one goal, five assists) — has multiple points in each game. It is the first time since Joe Murphy and Nicholls in 1992 an Oiler has had multiple points in each of the first three games of the postseason.

Mike Smith bounced back with a perfect 30-save night and the Edmonton Oilers beat the Los Angeles Kings 6-0 Wednesday to even their first-round playoff series through two games.

Evander Kane had two goals and an assist, Ryan McLeod had one of each and Jesse Puljujarvi, Darnell Nurse and Leon Draisaitl also scored. Connor McDavid added two assists.

Smith, who made the fatal puck-handling mistake that led to Edmonton’s 4-3 loss in Game 1 on Monday, completed his fifth playoff shutout.

Jonathan Quick stopped 30 of 36 shots for the Kings.

The series moves to Los Angeles for Game 3 on Friday, with the Kings also hosting Game 4 on Sunday. Game 5 goes Tuesday in Edmonton.

The Oilers put away their second power-play goal of the night 11:55 into the third after Quinton Byfield was called for holding. Kane fired in a snap shot from inside the faceoff circle for his second goal of the night.

Edmonton jumped ahead 5-0 early in the third when Puljujarvi collected a pass across the slot from McDavid and ripped a shot over Quick’s glove.

Just 21 seconds earlier, Kane capitalized when Sean Druzi bobbled a puck in the slot in front of the Kings’ net and the Oilers winger tipped it in for his first goal of the postseason.

The Oilers took a 3-0 cushion into the third period after Evan Bouchard sent a shot sailing from just inside the blue line and McLeod tipped it past Quick 16:05 into the second.

Nurse scored short-handed at 6:03 of the second, charging down the ice with McDavid and firing a wrist shot that deflected off of the Kings’ Arthur Kaliyev and over Quick’s glove for a 2-0 lead.

After a goalless first, Edmonton opened the scoring on the power play after Dustin Brown was called for goaltender interference early in the second. Tyson Barrie sliced a crisp pass to Draisaitl in the far faceoff circle, and the star sniper blasted a one-timer past Quick for his second goal of the playoffs.

The Oilers were 2-for-3 with the man advantage on Wednesday and the Kings went 0-for-4.

NOTES: Los Angeles is 0-for-8 on the power play through the first two games of the series. … Kings F Viktor Arvidsson missed a second straight game with an undisclosed injury. … F Josh Archibald slotted into Edmonton’s lineup as coach Jay Woodcroft opted to play 12 forwards and six defensemen.

Phillip Danault scored 14:46 into the third period and the L.A. Kings held off the Edmonton Oilers for a 4-3 win in Game 1 of their first-round playoff matchup on Monday.

Trevor Moore and Alex Iafallo each scored and had an assist for L.A., and Brandon Lemieux contributed a goal.

Connor McDavid and Kailier Yamamoto replied with a goal and an assist apiece, and Leon Draisaitl rounded out the scoring with a power-play tally.

L.A. goalie Jonathan Quick made 35 saves for the win and Mike Smith stopped 31-of-35 shots for Edmonton.

The Oilers finished the regular season second in the Pacific Division with a 49-27-6 record to earn home ice advantage and fans responded by packing Rogers Place with a sold out crowd for the opening game.

Edmonton is in the playoffs for the third straight season but last year’s run was brief, with the Winnipeg Jets ousting the Oilers in the first round with a four-game sweep.

Moore opened the scoring 11 minutes into Monday’s game, ripping a shot from inside the face-off circle over Smith’s outstretched glove.

He then set Iafallo up to give L.A. a 2-0 lead 16:52 into the first. Stationed bellow the goal line, Moore sent Iafallo a behind-the-back pass and Iafallo wasted no time putting it into the Oilers’ net.

Edmonton cut the deficit before the end of the opening frame with another highlight-reel worthy goal from McDavid.

The Oilers’ captain sprinted the length of the ice, holding off several Kings defenders, and fired a snap shot past Quick to make it 2-1 with 42 seconds left in the first.

Chants of “M-V-P! M-V-P!” followed from the boisterous crowd. McDavid won his fourth Art Ross Trophy this season after posting a league-best 123 points.

The Oilers evened the score early in the second with a power-play marker after Iafallo was called for tripping.

Duncan Keith fired a long-range shot and Yamamoto tipped it in from the back door 2:39 into the period.

The score didn’t stay knotted at 2-2 for long. Lemieux sent a shot sailing from the top of the faceoff circle off a rush 3:50 into the second to restore the Kings’ lead.

Edmonton equalized again midway through the period with another power-play goal after Iafallo was called for cross-checking.

McDavid sent a pass flying from the boards with the puck ricocheting off a broken stick in the slot before Draisaitl settled it and blasted a quick shot past Quick 9:56 into the second.

Edmonton went 2 for 4 with the man advantage on Monday and L.A was 0 for 4.

The Kings took the lead for a final time 14:46 after Danault found space between Smith and his post.

Moments earlier, the goalie tried to clear the puck from behind the net and instead put it on the stick of a L.A. player in front. Smith made a diving save but couldn’t corral the puck and seconds later a long bomb went over his shoulder.

Game 2 goes Wednesday in Edmonton. The series shifts to L.A. for Game 3 on Friday.

NOTES: Defenceman Darnell Nurse returned to the Oilers’ lineup after missing four games with a knee injury. … The Kings were playing without Viktor Arvidsson, who left practice early on Saturday. The winger had 49 points (20 goals, 29 assists) in 66 games this season. … Monday marked the first playoff game between the Oilers and Kings since 1992 when Edmonton bested L.A. in a six-game series in the division semifinals.