EDMONTON - After calling out his players following a listless 5-0 loss to Anaheim on Friday, Edmonton head coach Tom Renney got the response he was hoping for.
Taylor Hall scored the overtime winner as the Oilers snapped a five-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday.
“It’s an emotional game and it takes passion to play and we had that back tonight,”Renney said.“Real credit to the fourth line for going out there and getting us started.”
Recent call up Josh Green scored in regulation for the Oilers (17-23-4), who have managed just three wins in their last 15 games.
Hall scored his 15th of the season on a power play 3:06 into extra time after a terrific backhand pass from captain Shawn Horcoff.
“We really wanted to win this one, especially after what happened against Anaheim,”said Hall.
Renney found it appropriate that it was Hall—the first overall draft pick in 2010—who got the winner after he had asked the team to be more emotionally invested. The 20-year-old is one of the few on the Oilers who didn’t need the scolding.
“If you look at the last few weeks, the one play that has answered the bell every night is Taylor,”he said.“If you want to know what passion looks like in a hockey play, watch Taylor Hall. I’m not sure you can teach it. It might be part of your DNA. But I am glad he’s got it.”
Justin Williams, who took the overtime penalty that ended up costing his team, scored the lone goal for the Kings (22-15-9), who sit three points back of San Jose for first in the Pacific Division.
“We knew they were going to come out with a lot of fire after their last game and they did,”said Kings defenceman Rob Scuderi.“We just weren’t ready. We didn’t respond or push back until the third. We just couldn’t seem to get it going until late in the game.
"Our cycle game, which has been so good for us the last month, just wasn’t there. It all added up to a tough night offensively.”
Kings head coach Darryl Sutter said he wasn’t surprised to see his team struggle to start the game after playing late the night before in Calgary. The Kings have gone 2-0-2 in their last four games.
“That was tough scheduling,”he said.“That’s a pretty good explanation for our start. We got three out of four points in Alberta. I’m all right with that. I’ll take the point.”
Edmonton started the scoring just past the midmark of the first period as a Jeff Petry blast from the point as a penalty expired was tipped past Kings starter Jonathan Quick by Green for his first of the season. Green's last NHL goal came almost exactly five years earlier, when he scored against Montreal on Jan. 16, 2007.
The Oilers came close to making it 2-0 a few minutes later when Hall had an open net to shoot at but couldn't get a backhand shot up after being knocked down to the ice.
Edmonton had 12 first-period shots to the Kings' six on Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk.
The Oilers kept the pressure coming and were robbed of a goal seven minutes into the second when Quick made a stop on a Green shot and then came across the crease to make a tremendous glove save to take a goal away from Ryan Jones.
Quick did it again with five minutes left in the second as he came across to stone Sam Gagner with a pad save after a nice bit of tic-tac-toe passing by the Oilers' top unit.
The Kings tied the game six minutes into the third when Williams tipped a Slava Voynov point shot past Dubnyk to eventually send the game to extra time. Anze Kopitar picked up his 400th career NHL point on the play.
Both teams return to the ice on Tuesday as the Kings conclude a three-game Western Canadian trip in Vancouver and the Oilers travel to Columbus.
Notes: It was the second of four meetings this season between the two teams. The Oilers won the first match-up 3-0 in Los Angeles in November. The Kings swept their four-game series with the Oilers last year.…The Oilers are a banged up squad with their two leading scorers, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle, both expected to be out until after the all-star game. Forward Eric Belanger missed his first game of the season with a leg injury. Also out of the lineup are defencemen Tom Gilbert, Ryan Whitney and Cam Barker.…The Kings are much better off on the injury front, missing Simon Gagne, out indefinitely with a concussion, and Scott Parse, who will miss the remainder of the season for hip surgery.…Los Angeles now has a 7-1-5 record since Darryl Sutter took over behind the bench just before Christmas.…Eight of the Kings' last 14 games were tied after regulation time.