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Eight (Goals) Is Great

Goals everywhere for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Leon Draisaitl in 8-4 romp over Kings

NHL: Los Angeles Kings at Edmonton Oilers
RNH: Handling his business.
Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

The Kings helped themselves to four goals last night at Rogers Place.

Normally, that would be the lede on typical night. The OIlers’ 20th ranked offense would normally sputter to find two goals en route to a loss.

Except, that’s not what happened last night. The Oilers doubled up the Kings in an 8-4 romp at home. Birds singing. Cold beers. No one’s hurling sweaters on the ice. Things going well. As LT would say, “Music!”

The Oilers were bolstered by two hat tricks. The Oilers scored five goals in the first period. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins picked up a hat trick in the first period of play.

Little did the crowd know, they’d need more hats. Leon Draisaitl was just getting warmed up at this point, having scored one of the period’s five goals earlier in the game.

It took Leon until the 59th minute, but no one’s going to count that against him.

We’re going to need more hats.

I’m trying to think of the last time that the Oilers scored eight goals on another NHL club, and the Blackhawks game with the eight-point affair with Sam Gagner is the one that pops to mind. That was seven years ago already? Sheesh.

The Oilers scored a boatload of goals to take a tired Kings team to task. The Oilers are five points out with six games to go. I’m not even looking at the playoff picture past that line. This game was a game that the players badly needed, and I’m sorry that it took until game 76 for it to happen.

  • Connor McDavid picked up four points (1-3-4) in the win. The fact that McDavid picked up four points in an 8-4 win isn’t even the second noteworthy fact in the storyline. I love it. McDavid has 112 points on the season, and that’s nine back of Nikita Kucherov in Tampa Bay.
  • Oscar Klefbom is the straw that stirs the drink. Three more assists for Edmonton’s best defenceman, he was second in total ice time behind Darnell Nurse. Nurse picked up a pair of assists for himself, he’s now got 30 on the season. Cool.
  • Joseph Gambardella is on a three game point streak. Gambardella picked up his third assist in three games with a smart hockey play. It’s simple, but all you have to do is get the puck behind Dioin Phaneuf up to Connor McDavid. Gambardella is the kind of contract that the Oilers will need to secure as they wander into next season tight to the cap ceiling.
  • Not a great night for Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick. Quick got the hook after Edmonton’s fourth goal in the first period (or Nugent-Hopkins’ second in the game, whichever you prefer). Jack Campbell didn’t enjoy much fun in relief, yielding four more goals before it was all over.

The only complaint? Allowing four goals to the Kings. None of it matters when you score eight. Regardless of playoff hockey, let’s see a few more games like this one before the year is up. Eight goals is a tough number to hit on a nightly basis, but you won’t get too many arguments if you can pull out a couple of five goal efforts along the way.