February 23rd, 2024

McDavid shines in 600th game with goal, assist as Oilers tip Kings 3-2 in shootout

By Dan Greenspan, The Associated Press on December 31, 2023.

Edmonton Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner, left, dives to stop a shot by Los Angeles Kings center Trevor Lewis during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Dec. 30, 2023, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Connor McDavid had a goal and an assist, Derek Ryan scored in the fourth round of a shootout and the Edmonton Oilers defeated the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 on Saturday night.

Leon Draisaitl also scored, Stuart Skinner made 26 saves, and the Oilers picked up their fourth straight National Hockey League victory.

“Every time we’re in this building, it feels like the exact same game,” McDavid said. “Rinse and repeat. It’s a grind. They’re a great team, and I felt we did a good job of just hanging in there.”

McDavid fuelled the Oilers’ comeback in the second period from two goals down, flicking in his low-angle shot off Cam Talbot’s helmet for a power-play tally 5:35 into the period and feeding Draisaitl in the slot during 4-on-4 play with 4:31 remaining to tie it up.

McDavid played in his 600th career game and has 316 goals and 581 assists, the fifth-most to start a career behind Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Mike Bossy and Peter Stastny.

McDavid broke a tie with Stastny for fourth-most assists through 600 games, behind Gretzky, Lemieux and Bobby Orr.

“Any time you’re mentioned with those guys, you’re doing something right,” McDavid said. “Those are three of the game’s very, very, very best, you know, so to be with that company obviously means a lot to me. It’s a special, special group.”

Adrian Kempe had a goal and an assist, Kevin Fiala scored, and Talbot made 24 saves as the Kings lost their second straight game.

“We did some good things, we did some things that we put ourselves in tough spots, but that’s the type of game we’ve come to expect from these two teams,” coach Todd McLellan said. “For the most part, it was a hard fought game.”

Kempe’s top-end speed factored into both Kings’ goals in the first period. It was his blazing entry into the offensive zone that occupied two defenders and left Fiala alone for a slap shot one-timer to open the scoring with 5:16 left.

Kempe then charged in on a breakaway before putting his wrist shot off the right post and in from the right circle for a 2-0 edge with 1:11 remaining. It was his 10th multi-point game, giving Kempe three goals and three assists during a four-game point streak.

“I still feel confident, like I have the last couple years,” Kempe said. “Obviously, would still like to see myself score more. Got one tonight, so that was nice, and hopefully I can get on a little bit of a roll.”

UP NEXT

Oilers: Visit the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday night.

Kings: Host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night.

AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL

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