LOS ANGELES — The play didn’t result in a goal, or a great save or even a one-sided fight, but it was probably the turning point of the game.
Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, who has endured a drop-off in his results this season, if not his play altogether, leveled Edmonton rookie Taylor Hall early in the second period Saturday night as he carried the puck along the boards.
The play set off a wild scrum in which Doughty’s roommate, Wayne Simmonds, came out of the pile with a lower-body injury, but also seemed to inspire the Kings in their 5-2 victory at Staples Center, their second victory on the just-concluded eight-game homestand.
“I saw the opportunity to knock him off the puck, and I did just that … hit him as hard as I could,” Doughty said. “Those things are going to happen in a game and it definitely [inspired] our team after that. I thought we picked it up and we were pretty dominant from that point on.”
Jarret Stoll scored the go-ahead goal about six minutes later, taking a pass from Dustin Brown just as Brown stepped out of the penalty box.
Early in the third period, Doughty scored his first goal in the last 13 games to provide the Kings a two-goal lead, and Stoll added an empty-net goal with just under two minutes remaining, his fifth in the last five games.
Kings coach Terry Murray said Hall and Doughty were looking to mix it up earlier in the game. Hall is 19 and Doughty is 21, so perhaps they were setting the stage for a long-term rivalry.
“Those are two young guys that are going to end up playing against each other for 15 years,” Murray said. “It was good to see the way Doughty responded.”
Murray said Simmonds was close to returning in the third period, but the training staff elected to keep him out the remainder of the game.
“It doesn’t sound too serious,” Murray said.
The Kings play again Monday night in Dallas and will be on the road for 13 of their next 16 games.