That probably wasn't supposed to be a shootout win. Then again, the Los Angeles Kings were supposed to get more than one goal on their 48 shots. Credit to Richard Bachman for stopping everything he had a chance to stop, and a little bit of credit to the Edmonton Oilers for at least making sure that most of those shots were from the outside.
Fortunately, the Kings took care of business in the shootout and earned two points.
How do you combat speed? If you're the Kings, you just hold on to the puck a lot. The first line of King-Kopitar-Williams did that very effectively, and set the tone early by cycling the puck and not letting go. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had the only early Edmonton chance after splitting Slava Voynov and Willie Mitchell down the middle, but he only had enough room to shoot straight at Jonathan Quick. Nugent-Hopkins would later leave the ice after a knee-on-knee hit by Kyle Clifford which was uncalled; though it didn't appear intentional, it was a sloppy play by Clifford, and it was good to see Nugent-Hopkins back on the ice before the end of the period.
Meanwhile, the Kings were closest to scoring when they were forcing rebounds out of Bachman. The former Dallas backup and recent Edmonton call-up gave up two juicy rebounds; the first (off an early Kyle Clifford shot) was covered well outside the crease, and the second (on the power play) resulted in a hard Drew Doughty shot which was stopped cleanly. Bachman did his job for the rest of the period, and two Oilers power plays in the latter half of the period were foiled by Quick and the PK.
The second period kicked off with more good pressure by the first line, which the Oilers would counter with... fighting! Unsurprisingly, Clifford had to answer the bell for this first period hit and squared off with Ryan Jones, and for whatever reason, Jordan Nolan and Luke Gadzic decided to engage fisticuffs (I love that word) three seconds later. I don't know if anyone got momentum out of it, but Jake Muzzin took an interference penalty 20 seconds later and the Oilers would capitalize. Nail Yakupov (as predicted in the preview) picked up his first goal of the season, putting away a sizable rebound off of an Anton Belov shot.
LA missed their first good chances to equalize, as consecutive power plays went for naught. The first was simply ugly, but Drew Doughty had a good look on the second; his high shot glanced off the shoulder of Bachman and hit the crossbar. The Kings were better, but no goals were coming; however, Mike Richards finally picked up the game-tying goal late in the second. Jeff Carter brought the puck all the way around the net and fed Jake Muzzin; a rebound came, and the Kings finally took advantage. Richards had the puck at the side of the net, and with Matt Frattin effectively screening Bachman and no defensemen near him, Richards placed the shot perfectly between Bachman and the near post.
In the first five minutes of the third period, Los Angeles had six shots. Crazy pace, right? Well, they continued at that pace for the entire third, racking up 23 shots on goal. Bachman was able to slam the door, however, stopping any and all shots until Mike Richards beat him again with six minutes to go. Unfortunately, the goal didn't count. Matt Frattin was screening Bachman on the original shot, but with Bachman well out in front of the crease, Frattin moved back into the goalie. It might not have been called initially, but Jeff Petry gave him an additional shove into Bachman, who fell backwards. Richards shot it into the open net, but no goal.
The best chances of the game came at the end of regulation. Jonathan Quick stopped Boyd Gordon after Gordon drove to the net from the corner and tried to stuff the puck past his pad. Meanwhile, Anze Kopitar nearly won the game with 20 seconds left, but Bachman spread the pads and stopped Kopitar not once, but twice, right in front. The Kings also picked up five shots in overtime and got a power play after an egregious too-many-men penalty on Edmonton, but they couldn't finish the deal and had to win in the shootout. Richards and Eberle scored in the first round, Carter and Perron were stopped in the second, and after Kopitar fired one past Bachman, Nugent-Hopkins shot wide.
So the Kings got their two points, but the Oilers stole one of their own. The Kings perhaps could have done a better job getting shots in tight, especially in the first two periods. But all in all, it was a good offensive effort to follow up their seven-goal Thursday, and the third period alone should have been enough to win. We'll see if the one goal provokes any changes before the Phoenix-San Jose back-to-back.