NHL Game Summary - Edmonton at Los Angeles
(Monday, March 22nd)
Final Score: Edmonton 2, Los Angeles 1
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Ryan Smyth scored late in the third period to snap a tie and lift the Edmonton Oilers to a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings in a crucial Western Conference matchup at Staples Center.
The Oilers, coming off a 5-2 win at San Jose on Sunday night, won their fifth straight game and moved into a tie with Nashville for the seventh and eighth playoff spots in the Western Conference with 82 points.
St. Louis is ninth, one point behind, while the Kings are now three points off the pace.
Los Angeles has lost four in a row -- all at home -- and five of its last six. The Kings now head to the road for four games against Northwest Division opponents, starting Wednesday in Vancouver, with another game against the Oilers Friday in Edmonton.
Despite the loss, Kings star Luc Robitaille had an assist to become the all- time leader in points for a left wing with 1,370. He surpassed the mark of 1,369 set by John Bucyk.
"It's certainly something I'll cherish one day," said Robitaille. "But it's just hard now, when we're battling so hard to make the playoffs. It's never much fun to set a record when you lose."
Fernando Pisani also scored for Edmonton and Ty Conklin made 25 saves. The Oilers have now recorded at least one point in 13 straight games (8-0-2-3).
Jozef Stumpel scored the lone goal for the Kings and Cristobal Huet finished with 21 saves.
After Stumpel tied the game at the 8:51 mark of the third, the Oilers went back in front just under five minutes later.
Smyth started the play on the go-ahead goal by carrying the puck into the Los Angeles zone. He then fed a pass back toward the left point and raced to the front of the net to deflect Marc-Andre Bergeron's shot through Huet's pads.
"It looked like it was going wide. I was fortunate to get my stick on it," said Smyth.
Los Angeles had a power-play chance with 2:27 remaining when Cory Cross was called for high-sticking, then pulled Huet for a 6-on-4 skating advantage with 90 seconds to play but could not score the equalizer.
The Kings scored on a power play to tie the game at 1-1, cashing in after Edmonton's Georges Laraque was whistled off for high-sticking at the 7:14 mark.
After a pair of chances were turned aside by Conklin, Robitaille picked up his milestone point by setting up Stumpel.
Robitaille had the puck along the right boards and waited for Stumpel to free himself in the right circle. Stumpel took the feed and ripped a one-timer over Conklin's glove for his eighth goal.
Los Angeles nearly took the lead with just under nine minutes to play when Lubomir Visnovsky's shot hit the left post.
The Kings could not get a fortunate bounce, but the Oilers did to grab a 1-0 lead with 2:53 left in the first period.
Pisani picked up a loose puck behind the Los Angeles net and skated into the low left circle. He tried to send a pass to the top of the crease, but the puck caromed off the skate of Los Angeles defenseman Nathan Dempsey before going past Huet.
Edmonton scored just once on four shots in the opening period, while Conklin stopped all 10 Los Angeles shots.
The Oilers then outshot the Kings 13-5 in a scoreless second period.
Smyth has 21 goals this season and ended a 10-game goal drought...The Kings had won the first two matchups this season...Edmonton is 3-0-2 in its last five road games and improved to 21-2-1 when leading after two periods this season.
03/23 02:22:30 ET