February 21st, 2024

Byfield scores twice as Kings drill Oilers 4-0 in Hiller’s coaching debut


By Joe Reedy, The Associated Press on February 10, 2024.

Los Angeles Kings center Phillip Danault (24) defends against Edmonton Oilers left wing Zach Hyman (18) from advancing the puck with goaltender David Rittich, left, in the net during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Los Angeles, Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

LOS ANGELES (AP) – David Rittich stopped 27 shots for his first shutout in nearly three years, Quinton Byfield had two goals and an assist, and the Los Angeles Kings beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-0 Saturday night, giving Jim Hiller a victory in his first game as an NHL head coach.

Hiller was named interim coach for the rest of the season after Todd McLellan was fired on Feb. 2. The Kings had only three wins in their last 17 games going into the All-Star break.

It was Rittich’s fifth career shutout in eight NHL seasons, and his first since Feb. 22, 2021, at Toronto when he was with the Calgary Flames.

The closest the Oilers came to scoring on Rittich was midway through the second period when Corey Perry’s shot hit the crossbar.

Pierre Luc-Dubois scored and Trevor Lewis had a goal for the second straight game for Los Angeles, which jumped to a 2-0 lead with goals in a 49-second span early in the second period.

Both of Byfield’s goals came in the third period. He put in a rebound at 7:06 and added an empty-net tally at 17:18. The Kings forward, who was the second overall pick in the 2020 draft, has 16 goals on the season, including four goals and four assists in his last four games.

Stuart Skinner made 22 saves for Edmonton, which has dropped two of three since a 16-game winning streak that was one shy of tying the NHL record.

Midway through a Kings power play in the second period, Dubois ripped a snap shot from the left faceoff circle that Skinner was unable to get his blocker on and went into the far side of the net at 2:38. It was the 11th goal of the season and second in the past nine games for Dubois, who was acquired in a trade during the off-season and signed an eight-year, $68 million contract.

Lewis then got a great pass from Byfield and finished off a 2-on-1 rush with a wrist shot at 3:27 for his seventh.

UP NEXT

Oilers: Host the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday.

Kings: Begin a four-game road trip against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.

AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl

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