Kings drop to fourth in the Pacific Division after losing 4-1 to the Oilers

Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Kings drop a place after falling to the Oilers.

The NHL playoff race is heating up as teams are in the final stretch. The Los Angeles Kings have a somewhat comfortable gap to the non-playoff spots, but every position matters. And they missed an opportunity to keep their position on Thursday. 

The Kings lost 4-1 to the Edmonton Oilers, as Arthur Kaliyev was their only goal scorer. 

With the loss, they dropped to fourth place in the Pacific Division, as the Vegas Golden Knights won. The third spot is crucial, as the top three teams in the division are guaranteed playoff spots, but the rest have their fate determined by the Wild Card race. 

The Kings are now in the final wild-card position, with the St. Louis Blues trailing them by five points.

“We just got to play and win,” said interim head coach Jim Hiller. “We can’t control what is going on the other side. We can control what we are doing and what we are trying to do. Tonight, we just could not do it.”

Kaliyev scored the King’s only goal late in the third period after Quinton Byfield forced a turnover. But by then, they were down three goals, so they still trailed by two goals with little time to catch up. 

“Everyone is happy for Arty,” Hiller said. “It has been a tough go for him. He has had chances. He has not played a lot. But the times he’s had chances, he has not scored, so it is nice to see when he had his chance tonight, he was able to find the back of the net. Maybe that will help with his confidence going forward.”

“He is an important player still on our team. He is one of the guys. He is here working every day. He has been out for a while and has been a good soldier. [Today was] a chance to get him back in the lineup.”

The Oilers scored a goal in each period (two in the third period, one on an empty net) that were put away by Connor McDavid, Evan Bouchard, Adam Henrique, and Cody Ceci. They put those four goals past into the net despite just 20 shots.

“They scored on their chances,” Hiller said. “In the end, chances were pretty close to equal. We did not score on ours. Their goalie played well.”

Next, the Kings play the Calgary Flames as they try to reclaim the third-place spot in their division.