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Kings beat Oilers for seventh straight win

by Derek Van Diest

EDMONTON -- Los Angeles Kings center Jeff Carter proved Sunday night that scoring goals is not always about shooting the puck.

Carter scored two goals without taking a shot at Rexall Place, pacing the Los Angeles Kings to a 4-2 win against the Edmonton Oilers.

The Kings' forward was awarded a goal directed into the net by an Oilers defenseman in the first period and had another bounce in off the back of his leg in the second.

"We had two lucky bounces and they had one," Kings center Jarret Stoll said. "Those are going to happen. You have to get pucks to the net, and there are so many bodies going to the net in the games these days, that it is going to hit something."

Alec Martinez and Trevor Lewis also scored for the Kings, who extended their win streak to seven games. Jonathan Quick made 25 saves for Los Angeles.

Ben Scrivens, facing the Kings for the first time since being traded by Los Angeles to Edmonton on Jan. 15, made 46 saves for the Oilers. Scrivens stopped 59 shots in a record-breaking shutout performance against the San Jose Sharks on Jan. 29.

"I'm not going to throw my teammates under the bus," Scrivens said. "We had no quit right up to the last buzzer. They're a team that generates a lot of shots they throw a lot of pucks and drive the net. I was proud of the way we competed."

Taylor Hall and Sam Gagner scored for the Oilers. It was the second time they have conceded at least 50 shots in a game this season.

"He [Scrivens] has done it all year, he did it with us too," Quick said of his former teammate. "I think he is just what this team needed here in Edmonton. He consistently gives you a solid effort and a chance to win every night. We put 50 shots on him and they still had a chance at the end there.

"For a few years now, I think it is an area the Oilers needed improvement, not to knock the goalies they had before. The team defense could be better as well. But Scrivens has really stepped in since he came here and given them a chance to win every night."

The Kings opened the scoring at 1:36 of the first period when Oilers defenseman Philip Larsen inadvertently kicked the puck into his own net. The goal was awarded to Carter, who had centered the puck.

Edmonton tied the game at 7:24 on a three-way passing play inside the Kings' zone. Gagner slid the puck up to David Perron just inside the blue line, where he spun and found a streaking Hall with a behind-the-back pass. Hall took the pass and slipped the puck underneath Quick.

Martinez restored the Kings' lead at 8:49 of the second period on a point shot that found its way through traffic and past Scrivens.

Prior to the goal, Scrivens made a handful of good saves while the Kings increased the pressure in the second period. They went on to outshoot the Oilers 21-14 in the second.

"A couple times we looked at the shot clock and were surprised," Perron said. "It didn't feel like we were getting outshot that badly. It felt like we were in the battle. Obviously, it's tough to go down by three to start the third. But I think our battle level was pretty high throughout the lineup. They're a good team, they're experienced and they've played a long time together. But I thought we were right there with them for long times in the game."

Carter increased the Kings' lead to 3-1 at 10:16, after a rebound bounced off the back of his leg past Scrivens. Carter then set up Lewis at 15:49, increasing The Kings lead to 4-1.

"We're just not there yet as a group," Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said. "I thought we competed much harder and much better than the game where we were in L.A. (2-1 overtime loss on Oct. 27). That game seemed so one-sided and it didn't feel that way.

"I thought our guys were in the battle, they were sticking together they were playing hard. There was no standing around watching them play. We made our mistakes and then they had two [lucky] goals like that. The first one is a heartbreaker. It's not a good way to start, it goes off a guy's foot. That gets you down against a team I consider one of the best in the League."

In the third, the Gagner cut the deficit to 4-2 with his seventh goal of the season at 2:05. While playing 4-on-4, Gagner took a cross-crease pass from Hall at the side of the net and sent a pass across the crease intended for Ryan Smyth. The puck bounced off Kings defenseman Drew Doughty in front and past Quick.

"I thought we competed really hard," Gagner said. "We had a couple of bad bounces, one off our guy and one off their guy and in. But I thought we competed really hard, we just have to build off that.

"I thought we played all right. If you look at the shot differential you draw conclusions from that, but I didn't think it was as one sided as the shots suggested. I thought it was one of those games where we battled against that team and we held our own physically. We're obviously not happy with the result, but we have to move forward."

The loss snapped the Oilers' two-game win streak. They'll play the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night in the first of a four-game road trip.

The Kings conclude their three-game Canadian trip against the Calgary Flames on Monday.

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