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NHL Game Summary - Los Angeles at Edmonton

(Friday, March 26th)

Final Score: Edmonton 3, Los Angeles 1

Edmonton, AB (Sports Network) - Ryan Smyth's first period goal was the difference as the Edmonton Oilers knocked off the Los Angeles Kings, 3-1, at Rexall Place.

Fernando Pisani and Petr Nedved also scored for the Oilers, who jumped from ninth place in the Western Conference playoff race to seventh. With the win, Edmonton leads eighth-place Nashville by a point and St. Louis by two with just four games remaining.

Ty Conklin faced 19 shots, stopping all but one for the win, the sixth in seven games for the Oilers (6-0-0-1). Edmonton now has earned a point in 15 straight games (9-0-2-4).

Ian Laperriere scored the lone goal for the Kings, who have dropped six straight games to fall perilously close to playoff elimination. Los Angeles, with 79 points and five games left, are five points out of the eighth spot.

Roman Cechmanek turned aside 29-of-32 shots for LA, which will head south to Calgary to face off against the Flames Saturday in what amounts to virtually a must-win contest.

"We just didn't have enough guys who wanted to compete tonight," said Kings head coach Andy Murray. "We'll have a whole knew lineup tomorrow in Calgary. It doesn't matter if it's the 15th game, 50th, or 82nd game, every time you put on that jersey you need to compete and we didn't do that tonight."

The Kings dug themselves a hole early as Edmonton was granted a full two minute man advantage after a slashing major on Joe Corvo and a cross-checking penalty against Luc Robitaille 5:19 into the opening period.

Edmonton managed six shots on the power play before Pisani made them pay with his 15th of the season off a nice feed from Adam Oates. Oates threaded a pass through an LA defender from down low right across the goal mouth to Pisani for a one-timer from a sharp angle.

The Oilers doubled the margin to 2-0 on Smyth's 22nd marker of the campaign with 7:46 to play in the first. Kings defenseman Jaroslav Modry committed a costly turnover in his own zone as the tried to pass the puck up the middle. Smyth intercepted and fired a wrister to the top corner from the left hash.

"It pays off obviously, winning the hockey game," said Smyth, who missed the morning skate with the flu. "You have to pay the price once and a while. Everyone in this locker room has paid the price. We're going to have to go down to the wire. But we control our own destiny."

Edmonton dominated play in the first period, holding LA to just five shots while registering 18.

Los Angeles got one back early in the second on Laperriere's 10th, an unassisted tally just 2:33 into the frame.

Nedved once again made it a two-goal difference with his 18th goal of the year as he skated in and roofed a backhand over Cechmanek from in close with only 1:36 left in the middle stanza. It was Nedved's 300th career goal.

"It's a nice feeling," Nedved said. "But more importantly it gave us a cushion at 3-1. They kind of took over in the second after a couple of power plays. The goal picked up the momentum for us."

Murray pulled Cechmanek with 2:21 left to play in desperate hopes of securing at least a point, but the strategy came up empty. His team mustered only six shots in the final 20 minutes.

Game Notes

Nashville has a game in hand on Edmonton while St. Louis has two...The Oilers salvaged a 2-2 split in the season series with the Kings...Edmonton has won five of the last seven meetings and is 9-0-1-3 in its last 13 home games overall...The Oilers will host Phoenix on Sunday.

03/26 23:52:55 ET

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