EDMONTON — The Los Angeles Kings have officially put a tough start to the season behind them.
Tanner Pearson scored the game winner late in the third period as Los Angeles came away with a 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday.
Jeff Carter and Anze Kopitar also scored for the Kings (5-3-0), who have now won five games in a row after a difficult 0-3 start to the season.
“It was a solid game, it was three in four nights for us,” said Kings head coach Darryl Sutter. “The two teams played hard.”
Benoit Pouliot and Taylor Hall replied for the Oilers (3-6-0), who have lost two straight.
“It’s disappointing, but it was great to see that we didn’t give up,” said Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. “We just fought back and we came within inches at the end.”
Connor McDavid appeared to have scored on a backhand with 3.8 seconds remaining to tie the game 3-3, but a video review concluded that the puck was in Jonathan Quick’s glove and did not cross the line.
“It happened so fast,” McDavid said. “Obviously I’m going to think I scored there in a situation like that… I thought it could have gone in.”
Oilers head coach Todd McLellan added: “We are at the mercy of the referee and the league and they are doing their best to make the right call. We don’t have to agree with it, but it’s made and we have to move on.”
The Oilers started the scoring five minutes into the game as the rebound from a McDavid shot came out to Pouliot, who rifled a wrist shot past Quick. McDavid and Nail Yakupov both extended their point streak to five games with the assists.
The Kings responded quickly, just over a minute later as Carter took a shot from behind the goal line that caromed off of Oilers starter Cam Talbot’s pads and into the net. Los Angeles made it 2-1 with six-and-a-half minutes remaining in the second period when an Oilers defensive breakdown allowed Kopitar a clear lane and he picked the top corner on Talbot.
Edmonton defenceman Justin Schultz left the game in the second period with an undisclosed injury and did not return.
The Oilers tied the game with six minutes left in the third as Hall was able to tip a Nugent-Hopkins feed past Quick to make it 2-2.
However, the Kings regained the advantage a couple minutes later on a power play of their own as Pearson was able to pick up a puck on the doorstep and slide it past Talbot for his first of the season at 16:34.
Kopitar said his team showed character getting the game winner shortly after the Oilers tied it up in the late stages.
“Obviously we had some chances and couldn’t get a cushion, but we felt that we were playing our game, sticking to our game plan and that was the most important thing,” he said. “When you take a penalty late like that, they give their final push. They got one, but the character of this team came up again and we got one right back on them. That was huge.”