LOS ANGELES -- For most of the season the Los Angeles Kings have been slow starters and fast finishers, dominating the second and third periods after deliberate beginnings.
Looks like they've decided to own the first periods now, too.
For the second straight game the Kings got off to a furious start, scoring two goals before the Edmonton Oilers could get themselves out of first gear.
The result was a 4-1 victory by the Kings at a sold out Staples Center.
Much like they did Thursday against Minnesota, the Kings scored less than two minutes in, this time when Jeff Carter found Mike Richards in front of the net and Richards fired a shot past Devan Dubnyk.
Carter struck next when he beat Dubnyk on a power play for his team-leading 22nd goal, and the Kings were up, 2-0, on the obviously sluggish Oilers.
"It wasn't very pretty," Carter said. "We were moving it around. I kind of went to the net and got a deflection."
Coming in, the Kings had outscored opponents, 40-31, in the second period and, 40-28, in the third while being outscored, 29-26, in the first.
But they've outscored Minnesota and Edmonton, 4-0, in the third period during the last two games, taking control of both early and then leaning on the goaltending of Jonathan Quick and Jonathan Bernier and their patient, hard-hitting defense.
Quick had 22 saves and improved to 13-11 this season.
The Kings nudged ahead of San Jose into fourth place in the Western Conference playoff race, one point ahead of the Sharks.
San Jose, which has won seven straight, plays the Dallas Stars on Sunday.
The Oilers cut the Los Angeles lead to 2-1 when Magnus Paajarvi scored on a power play in the second period, but the Kings answered with Slava Voynov's power-play goal.
Drew Doughty added an empty net goal in the final minute, his second golf of the season.
The Kings are 101-1-11 over their last 113 games when leading after the second period, a stretch that began in 2009. The only regulation loss they suffered in that run came this year against Colorado.
Meanwhile, they moved to 19-3-1 this year when scoring three or more goals.
Edmonton lost its second straight to and is starting to fall out of the playoff picture in the Western Conference in ninth place.
NOTES: Jonathan Quick was back in goal for the Kings, one game after backup Jonathan Bernier shut out the Minnesota Wild. Quick came in with 28 games played this season, a 12-11 record and 2.54 GAA. Bernier has a 9-2 record and a 1.77 GAA. The stats suggest Bernier is playing better, but Kings coach Darryl Sutter insists he will determine playing time essentially the same way he has been, which means Quick gets the majority of starts. Both goalies have handled the situation as well as can be expected, and while some suggested the Kings should trade Bernier at the deadline, it makes more sense to drive up his value the rest of the season and re-visit moving him over the summer. ... The Kings have been dominant at home this season with a 14-4-1 record at Staples Center while outscoring opponents 59-34. ... First-year defenseman Jake Muzzin has been enjoyed a solid rookie year for the Stanley Cup champions, entering Saturday with a plus-11 over his last 16 games while notching 10 points over his last 17. ... Edmonton came in having won five of its last six, although on the outside looking in on the playoffs after falling into ninth place in the Western Conference after Thursday's loss to Vancouver. ... Jerred Smithson, who was acquired by the Oilers from the Florida Panthers at the deadline, is a new daddy after his wife Jaymie gave birth to son, Hunter Smithson, on Thursday. Smithson was available to play for the Oilers on Saturday.