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Feb 11, 2024 1:10 am

Jim Hiller wins coaching debut as Kings top Oilers

Knoblauch Oilers

David Rittich made 26 saves and Quinton Byfield had two goals and an assist as the Los Angeles Kings made Jim Hiller a winner in his NHL head coaching debut with a 4-0 victory over the visiting Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night.

It was Rittich’s first shutout of the season and fifth of his career. Rittich, who improved to 6-1-3 this season, hadn’t recorded a shutout since Feb. 22, 2021, as a member of the Calgary Flames, blanking the Toronto Maple Leafs, 3-0.

Pierre-Luc Dubois and Trevor Lewis also scored for the Kings, who won their second straight game. The 54-year-old Hiller, an assistant for Los Angeles since July 2022, was named interim head coach after the dismissal of Todd McLellan, who coached the Kings for 4 1/2 seasons, on Feb. 2 after a 3-8-6 stretch.

Stuart Skinner finished with 22 saves for Edmonton, which lost for the second time in the last three games after a 16-game winning streak, tied for the second-longest in NHL history.

After a scoreless first period that saw Kings defenseman Mikey Anderson rattle a shot off the crossbar and Skinner make a glove save on Kevin Fiala’s close-in shot by the right post, Los Angeles scored twice in 49 seconds early in the second period.

Dubois made it 1-0 with a power-play goal at the 2:38 mark when he knuckled a wrist shot from the right faceoff dot through traffic and under Skinner’s right arm for his 11th goal of the season.

Lewis followed with his seventh goal when he flipped in a shot from the right side of the net off a crossing pass from Byfield, who started the rush after stealing the puck along the left boards from Connor McDavid.

Byfield extended the lead to 3-0 at the 7:06 mark of the third period when he fired in a rebound of a Vladislav Gavrikov shot from the bottom of the left circle off the left post.

Edmonton pulled Skinner for an extra attacker with 5:37 remaining in a last-ditch effort to try and get back into the game and Byfield sealed the win with an empty-netter with 2:42 to go.

–Field Level Media

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