June 13, 2024

The Kings only had one game in the previous week, but it was a very important one. The Kings trounced the Edmonton Oilers 4-0 on Saturday night to close the gap on their Canadian opponent in the standings, all thanks to the appointment of Jim Hiller as their new interim head coach.

The Kings appeared to have the energy advantage for the whole 60 minutes against an Oilers club playing in their third game in four days and on the second half of a back-to-back. The Kings had a 2:1 shooting edge in the first period, which didn’t translate into a goal or a lead but did set up a productive second period. The Kings scored two goals in as many as 49 seconds apart to take a 2-0 lead 3:27 into the

Knoblauch named head coach of Edmonton Oilers | TheAHL.com | The American  Hockey League

The Kings led by two goals going into the third quarter and scored twice in the next twenty minutes of action. The former second overall pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, Byfield, 21, had a memorable night as he finished with two goals to cap off a three-point effort. Byfield ended Edmonton’s night with an empty net goal, but not before he gave the Kings a 3-0 lead with a deft wrist shot off the rebound of a Vladislav Gavrikov point shot. With his three points, Byfield recorded his ninth multi-point game of the year, behind only Lucas Raymond (11) and tying for second place in the league among skaters 21 years of age or younger. Additionally, by recording the 70th, 71st, and 69th points

Not to be outdone, David Rittich stopped all 26 Oilers shots to record his first shutout while wearing a Kings uniform. For the Kings, Rittich has now scored a point in five of his six starts (3-0-2).

The Kings still have the greatest penalty kill percentage in the NHL (87.7%).
As the head bench manager, Jim Hiller, the interim head coach, won for the first time in his career. He now has a 1-0-0 record.
D.J. Smith, the former head coach of the Ottawa Senators, was also hired by the Kings. Smith will assume responsibility for the Kings’ five-on-five play.
For the Kings, Quinton Byfield’s three-point shooting performance set the bar high.
After going 0-for-2 on the power play in their matchup with the Oilers, the Kings are now 15th in the NHL (21.5%).
In their match against the Oilers, the Kings penalty kill went 5-for-5, good for first place in the NHL (87.7%).

This week’s schedule is back to normal as the Kings have departed town on a four-game road trip around the East Coast. After one game and one victory under Interim Head Coach Jim Hiller and his staff, the new bench boss will face the Buffalo Sabres, the New Jersey Devils during the week, and the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins on the weekend, which is earlier than usual.

It’s common knowledge that “timing is everything” in life. This game in Buffalo on Tuesday night may be one of those occasions. Rewinding to their January 23rd matchup with the Sabres, the Kings gave up an early two goal lead and lost the game.

Now that the two teams are playing their final game of the season in Buffalo, could this be a game of retaliation? The timing of this game is intriguing, even if players frequently ignore the additional desire and attention that comes with trying to make up for a mistake or make amends. The Sabres have lost both of their games since returning from the All-Star break, but they come into Tuesday’s game 5-5-0 in their previous 10. JJ Peterka leads the Sabres hot hand after recording a three-point (2-1=3) and +4 performance against the Kings in January. Alex Tuch is another player who has performed well against the Kings. Tuch has played well against the Kings lately, recording seven points (4-3=7), including the game-winning goal in January.

The Kings will play the 25-21-4 Devils in New Jersey two nights later. The squad that was frequently mentioned as a Stanley Cup contender before the season began is currently six points out of the postseason picture. Important players like Dougie Hamilton, Ondrej Palat, Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier, Timo Meier, and Nico Hischier have all missed at least ten games this season, largely due to injuries. J. Hughes, who is currently becoming healthier, joined the playing lineup two games ago together with the now-healthy Hischier, Palat, and Meier. With an average of 1.33 points per game during 34 games (15-30=45), J. Hughes is presently fifth in the NHL for points per game. Tyler Toffoli, a first-year Devil and former King fan favorite, is currently leading the team.

Regarding Saturday’s game, avoid staying out late on Friday and make sure to set your alarms for 9:30 AM, when the puck drops versus the Boston Bruins. The Bruins are once again a Stanley Cup contender, as they presently sit atop the Eastern Conference and trail just the Vancouver Canucks by three points in the Presidents’ Trophy race. The Kings will play their final game of the season on Saturday morning after losing to the Bruins 4-2 in Los Angeles on October 20th. With a record of 32-11-9, David Pastrnak, who scored more than 60 goals the previous season, leads the Bruins offensively. Pastrnak is third in the NHL in goals (33), ninth in assists (42) and third in points (33-42=74) as he approaches 52 goals this season. Pastrnak is the leader of the

The Bruins, who own two of the best goalies in the NHL, have also placed a lot of reliance on Jeremy Swayman and Linus Ullmark, who both have mediocre defensive statistics. Thanks to the efforts of Ullmark and Swayman, the Bruins are now ranked third in goals against, despite having an expected goals against ranking of 14th in the NHL.

The Kings will play the second half of back-to-back afternoon games in Pittsburgh on Sunday to wrap out their week-long, four-game road trip. Currently sitting at 1-6-0, they are looking to improve their record in the second half of a back-to-back. Sidney Crosby, who has 28 goals and a +17 plus/minus to rank seventh in the NHL, is the cornerstone of the Penguins’ offensive threat. Crosby plays a significant role for the Penguins with the

The Penguins, with a 23-19-7 record, are seven points out of the postseason, largely due to their poor goal scoring. However, it hasn’t been due to a lack of opportunities. The Penguins are ranked 25th in the important goal per game category, but second in the NHL in terms of projected goals for. Despite throwing everything at the opposition goalkeeper, even the kitchen sink, the Penguins have struggled to find the back of the offense. They rank second in the NHL in shot attempts, fourth in slot shots, and third in inner slot shots. Whether or not it’s a microcosm of the Penguins season, Jake Guentzel, an approaching unrestricted free agent, leads the NHL in projected goals (32.98) and is

 

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