McDavid shines in return from injury, Oilers hold off Kings
Published Monday, February 24, 2020 5:13AM MST
Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, right, moves the puck while under pressure from Los Angeles Kings defenseman Sean Walker during the third period of an NHL hockey game Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020, in Los Angeles. The Oilers won 4-2. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
LOS ANGELES -- The Edmonton Oilers added one key player with the return of Connor McDavid on Sunday night after he missed six games with a quad injury.
Then they picked up another, trading for veteran defenceman Mike Green from Detroit.
McDavid gave Edmonton a boost with a goal and two assists in a 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings, then turned his attention to the Oilers' addition on the blue line.
“It's exciting. I've been on the other side where you're losing friends to trade and all that, so it's nice to be on the other side where you're acquiring guys and trying to make a push,” McDavid said.
The Oilers traded forward Kyle Brodziak and a conditional draft pick in 2020 or 2021 to the Red Wings for Green. The deal for the 34-year-old, who has three goals and eight assists in 48 games this season, was announced during the third period.
Green brings experience to a position group for Edmonton that is currently missing two of its top defenders in Kris Russell, recovering from a concussion, and Oscar Klefbom, out with a shoulder injury.
“When you can bring in guys that are only going to help your team, help your depth, and we already know what we got in this locker room right now, just to be able to add to that and be a threat I think it's fun,” Oilers forward Riley Sheahan said.
Leon Draisaitl scored on the power play, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a goal and Edmonton moved ahead of idle Vancouver into second place in the Pacific Division. Mike Smith made 21 saves.
Anze Kopitar had a power-play goal, Dustin Brown also scored and Calvin Petersen made 27 saves for the Kings, who have lost three of four.
McDavid, who was injured against Nashville on Feb. 8, scored on an odd-man rush at 16:14 of the second period before Kopitar pulled the Kings within 3-1 at 18:39.
McDavid also found Draisaitl for the opening goal at 19:29 of the first period on a one-timer from the right circle and Josh Archibald for a shot into an empty net with 50 seconds remaining in the third period.
“Of course it's great having him back,” Nugent-Hopkins said. “You see the plays he makes and he's just so dangerous every time he touches the puck, and every team knows that. I mean, it's no secret, and he still goes in and does it every night. For him to play like that in his first game back, it's more than impressive.”
Though the Kings make it 3-2 49 seconds into the third period when Brown scored to the short glove side with a wrist shot from the right circle on an odd-man rush, Kopitar said the defensive breakdowns that preceded it were too much to overcome.
“It's the 2-on-1s that we gave up, we can't be that careless,” Kopitar said. “We've got to be a lot more responsible.”
Those mistakes allowed the Oilers to celebrate their third straight road win, the chance to get even better with the addition of Green and the possibility of more moves to come as general manager Ken Holland said he would be back on the phone before the trade deadline on Monday.
“I look at those players in that room, they've earned the right to keep pushing,” Oilers coach Dave Tippett said. “And Kenny's added a piece for us that will help, but I give all the credit to the players. They're the ones that have to come out and get the work done.
“They want to be a good team, they want to be a playoff team, they want to earn the right to be a playoff team, so to put ourselves in this position where we're looking to try to get better down the stretch, that's a positive sign for us.”
NOTES: McDavid has three goals and six assists in the four-game season series against the Kings. ... Nugent-Hopkins has three goals and two assists during a three-game point streak. ... Jones had two assists for his first multipoint game this season. ... Oilers F Kailer Yamamoto had an assist, his third in two games. ... Kings D Ben Hutton did not play because of illness.
Oilers: Visit the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night.
Kings: Host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night.