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Kings' win is better than a stick in the head

Dustin Brown accidentally clips Anze Kopitar, but all is well as Kings roll over Edmonton, 4-1, and move up to fourth in the West.

April 06, 2013|By Lisa Dillman
  • Kings' Jeff Carter, right, shoots the puck past Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk for a goal in the first period.
Kings' Jeff Carter, right, shoots the puck past Oilers goalie Devan… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)

So, what's a stick in the face between friends and linemates?

Dustin Brown's stick inadvertently clipped center Anze Kopitar in the face late in the second period and the Kings' leading scorer went down and stayed down for a moment or two before getting up.

Scare averted. That was one of the rare moments of concern Saturday afternoon for the Kings in a relatively straightforward 4-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers at Staples Center. The Kings, now in fourth place in the Western Conference, are 5-1-1 in their last seven games and face the Ducks on Sunday at Anaheim.

BOX SCORE: Kings 4, Oilers 1

Scoring for the Kings were Mike Richards (ninth of the season), Jeff Carter (22nd), defenseman Slava Voynov (fifth) and an empty-netter from defenseman Drew Doughty (second). Carter added an assist on Voynov's power-play goal at 8:22 of the second period to make it 3-1. Kings goalie Jonathan Quick got his 13th victory of the season.

Carter leads the NHL with seven game-winning goals and has scored in four of the last five games.

As for the Kings, their quick-strike offense caught the Oilers off guard, just the way it did against Minnesota on Thursday night. Richards scored 1:38 into the game against the Oilers, after Justin Williams needed a mere 1:29 into it versus the Wild.

"Lately our starts have been pretty good," Kopitar said. "It's easy when you get on the board first, having a lead, as opposed to chasing a lead. First of all, it's a lot more fun. And it gets your confidence going too."

Brown had one assist, his pass bouncing in off Carter past Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk, making it 2-0. Kopitar also had an assist on the play, but more important, he was still intact after the Brown incident.

"He [Brown] was saying I don't pass the puck enough," Kopitar said, kidding. "He just smacked me right in the face. Yeah, it wasn't very much fun. I thought my teeth were up by my nose."

Kopitar also joked that Brown had not yet apologized.

Finally, the "apology" came later in the afternoon in the most modern way possible, via twitter, naturally.

Brown tweeted: "I would like to apologize to @AnzeKopitar. I am sorry you ran into my stick. #stillhaveyourteeth #bethankful."

The Kings' big move at the trade deadline was their trade with Buffalo, acquiring defenseman Robyn Regehr, who, with Doughty, makes a formidable shutdown pair. Carter noted Regehr's impact on and off the ice.

"He's making sure we're ready to come out with the right mind-set in between periods and stuff like that," Carter said. "It's one thing that Greener [Matt Greene] was real good at, keeping everybody focused.

"I think I only played against him a few times. When I came to the West, he came to the East. I mean, he's just a hard-nosed, big strong guy. Almost like a bully out there. He's always in your face. Every time you turn around, he's there. It's great for us back there."

The Kings next could be facing a team minus its captain. Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf, who was injured Wednesday and missed Friday's contest against Dallas, is considered a game-time decision against the Kings.

"They've been awesome at home," Kings Coach Darryl Sutter said. "Teams struggle on the road. We're going into a tough building. Doesn't matter if we are going into Catalina Island if they had a team."

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