RECAP: Survival Mode

The new Kings motto is "Unnecessary Tension"

Before this game began, my biggest concern was that the Kings would make this win more interesting than they should have.

Once again, I was right in my analysis.

The game began not with a bang, but a whimper. Flat would be a kind word to describe what the Kings brought to the table to start the night. After an early penalty and some d-zone shenanigans, the Kings found themselves trailing on the shot clock by a 7-0 count. Moreover, they were getting roasted. These weren't all bland shots from the boards, many were high quality opportunities from directly in front of Jonathan Quick.

Speaking of Jonathan Quick, I think he was motivated by my recent pumping of his tires. From the very start, he made the complex look simple and the unbelievable a reality. In all honesty, he was the only thing holding the lackluster Kings in close for much of the game.

The Kings would even the shot totals eventually, but it still felt as if the Oilers had the better action. They were finally rewarded for their hard work late in the 2nd. After Milan Lucic started the Oilers' transition offense with a poor pass in the neutral zone, Zack Kassian found himself with all kinds of time and space thanks to the generous gap control of Luke Schenn. Schenn, who had backed a good 10-15 feet away from Kassian, wasn't able to get any part of Kassian's shot from the top of the slot, and Quick's barrier had finally been broken. The Oilers' 1-0 lead would hold up heading to the 3rd.

After about a millennium (or 45 minutes), the Kings finally broke through. After Dwight King won a faceoff (what?), Tyler Toffoli rifled the puck on net. Oilers goalie Cam Talbot thought he had the situation under control, but the puck trickled toward the goal line. Jeff Carter was the first one to locate the puck and forced it over the goal line to equalize the game. It was Carter's first goal in about a century (or 8 games).

After tying the game, it was almost as if the Kings suddenly realized who their opponents were. The ice almost immediately tilted toward Cam Talbot, and even when the Oilers were able to escape their half of the rink to put something on Quick, it was easily shut down and turned back the correct way.

Frankly, it was only a matter of time before the Kings put themselves on top when Dwight King redirected a Jeff Carter shot-pass past Talbot. Much like Carter's earlier goal, it was King's first tally in 8 games.

Despite the Kings going up, the game didn't change much as it wound down. The Kings continued to put mild pressure on Talbot and the Oilers and were able to easily stymie any advances made against them. Even after the Oilers pulled Talbot for an extra skater, they weren't able to get much going.

Alberta put forth an unexpectedly spirited effort over the past two games, but the Kings were able to put just enough together to win both games. Tonight, they stayed patient, and eventually the hockey universe balanced itself.

The win over the Oilers gives the Kings their first 3-game winning streak since the end of their 6-game win streak that spanned from December 26th to January 2nd. They'll get a chance to make it a 4-gamer when they take on Jack Eichel and the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night.