With all their high-end talent, the Edmonton Oilers’ latest win was hardly the sort of flashy exhibition that they have been putting on display lately — and that was just fine with them.
Leon Draisaitl and Alex Chiasson on Friday had a goal and an assist apiece in the opening period, as the Oilers moved back into first place in the NHL Pacific Division with a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.
“Mucky, ugly, chip-it, ping-pong hockey — but, we got the two points, so we move on,” Oilers coach Dave Tippett said. “With our lineup the way it is right now [due to injuries], we’re trying to grind out some points and that is what we did tonight. We knew we needed a tight, hard-checking game just to get us back set in the right direction.”
Goalie Mikko Koskinen made 35 saves for the Oilers (18-10-3), who improved to 8-4-2 at home.
Koskinen had been pulled — after allowing three goals on 12 shots — in a 5-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators the previous game and was happy about the opportunity to redeem himself.
“It shows that the coaches are trusting me and giving me a chance to go back there after one bad game,” he said. “It’s always good to shake that off right away.”
Michael Amadio scored for the Kings (11-17-2), who have lost three straight overall and 10 in a row on the road.
The Oilers’ top-ranked power play got them on the board with 11 minutes into the first period, as Draisaitl’s attempt to pass through traffic deflected off defender Drew Doughty’s leg and past Kings goalie Jonathan Quick. It was Draisaitl’s 19th goal of the season.
The Kings appeared to tie the game with six minutes left in the opening period on a goal by Lizotte, but it was disallowed on an offside call following a video review.
The Oilers snatched up another power-play goal a minute after that when Connor McDavid made a great feed-through to Chiasson, who had an easy tap-in into a wide-open net.
After a scoreless second period and several big saves by Koskinen, the Kings got back into the game with 6:28 to play in the third period, when a puck was loose in the crease before Amadio jammed it in to make it 2-1.
There was some frantic play in the final minutes, but the Oilers hung on.
Also on Friday, it was:
‧ Capitals 3, Ducks 2
‧ Blackhawks 2, Devils 1
‧ Penguins 2, Coyotes 0
‧ Canadiens 2, Rangers 1
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