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Doughty's pair leads Kings to 3-1 win in Edmonton

by Robin Brownlee /
EDMONTON, Alta. -- The Edmonton Oilers' 30th-place penalty-killers were just what the power play-challenged Los Angeles Kings needed.

The slumping Kings, 1-for-28 on the power play in their last 10 games, connected twice in the second period with the man advantage on the way to a 3-1 victory at Rexall Place on Wednesday night

Former Oiler Ryan Smyth was originally credited with both power-play goals on deflections of shots by Drew Doughty. But Smyth said afterward that he didn't touch either shot, and the NHL changed both goals on Thursday, giving Doughty his fifth and sixth of the season.

Even though he wound up not getting credit for the goals, Smyth was pleased with the power play's revival. 

"It's been lacking as of late," he said. "That can win or lose you hockey games, and tonight we capitalized on two and it's a big win for us."

The Kings came to Edmonton on the heels of a 1-0 shootout loss at Minnesota on Tuesday. But Doughty's two extra-man goals and an even-strength tally by defenseman Jack Johnson in the third period gave L.A. a 1-0-1 mark after the first two games of a 10-game trip that will keep them out of the Staples Center until Feb. 24.

Doughty said Smyth's willingness to stand in front of the net for tips and deflections, as well as his ability to screen goaltenders, is invaluable.

"He's slippery," Doughty said of Smyth. "He gets in there. He's not the strongest guy in the world, but he knows how to stand in the right positions, slide off a guy.

"He's not scared, no matter who is shooting. He's right there in front taking the goalie's eyes away. That's why those two goals went in."

The loss was the fourth in a row at home for the Oilers -- and the 12th straight overall for goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin, who hasn't won since he beat the Columbus Blue Jackets Dec. 16. Edmonton is last in the West and 29th in the overall standings with 38 points.

The Oilers are more than familiar with Smyth, who spent most of his career in Edmonton before being traded away in March 2007. Smyth's stock in trade has been his willingness to battle for position and make life miserable for opposing goaltenders.

"He's a guy who does a great job in front of the net," Edmonton's Tom Gilbert said of Smyth.

"There's certain guys on every team who are really good there. It's tough for goalies to see the puck and that's exactly what happened tonight."

The Kings didn't get into their hotel until 2 a.m. after flying from Minnesota, and it showed in their lack of jump in opening 20 minutes. The Oilers outshot Los Angeles 12-5 in the first period, but didn't get a sniff on three power-play chances as Jonathan Quick made 12 of his 32 saves to get the Kings to the first intermission in a scoreless tie.

When the Oilers finally put a puck behind Quick -- on a one-timer at the side of the net by rookie Magnus Paajarvi 3:21 into the second -- the lead didn't last long.

Doughty tied it just 24 seconds later on a power play, firing a point shot past a screened Nikolai Khabibulin for his fifth goal of the season. He scored a similar goal at 9:47 when his blast went past Khabibulin high on the glove side -- again with Smyth making life miserable for the goaltender.

"When you're lacking a bit in the power-play area, you've got to get back to the basics and that's getting the puck to the net," Smyth said. "It's just nice to get the win."

Jarret Stoll, who scored the game-winners in the previous two meetings of the teams this season -- 3-2 in a shootout and 5-2 -- was awarded a penalty shot 4:13 into the third period when he was hauled down by Edmonton's Ladislav Smid. Khabibulin stopped Stoll, but he couldn't get a handle on the insurance goal at 14:52 of the third, as Johnson fooled him with a shot from the point.

Johnson had a three-point night, picking up assists on the goals by Doughty.

This story has been corrected to reflect scoring changes made by the National Hockey League on Feb. 3, 2011.
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