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Kopitar scores winner as L.A. Kings beat Oilers 2-1

NHL.com @NHL

EDMONTON - Anze Kopitar scored in the second period to secure the Los Angeles Kings a 2-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night.

Patrick O'Sullivan also scored for the Kings (9-9-3), who snapped a two-game slide with just their second win in the last six outings. Ales Hemsky had the lone goal for the Oilers (9-10-2), who lost their second straight and fifth in their last six contests, having not recorded a victory on home ice since Oct. 18.

The Kings started off the scoring six minutes in with the teams playing four men aside. Oilers starter Dwayne Roloson was able to make a save on a Kopitar screen shot but several players skated past the rebound, allowing O'Sullivan to score as the trailer on the play.

Edmonton battled back to tie the game five minutes later as Dustin Penner drove to the net before sending a backhand pass to Hemsky, who had plenty of time to tuck the puck into an open net past Kings goaltender Jason LaBarbera.

The Kings regained the lead with six minutes remaining in the middle frame as O'Sullivan chipped a pass over the stick of defender Steve Staios and Kopitar was able to bat his fifth of the season out of the air and into the Edmonton net.

Kopitar and O'Sullivan finished with an assist each for L.A., which outshot the Oilers 23-16 through 40 minutes.

Five minutes into a scoreless third there was a dangerous looking boarding call as Staios hit O'Sullivan from behind, but the Kings forward returned to the ice a couple of shifts later.

Both teams are off until Saturday when the Kings play host to Chicago and the Oilers start a short two-game trip in St. Louis.

Notes: LaBarbera got his first start in goal for the Kings since Nov. 1. He started the first 10 games of the season but hadn't played since. ... Recent Oilers call-up Tim Sestito, 24, played in his first NHL game, playing on a line with fellow rookie Liam Reddox and defenceman Ladislav Smid, moved up to a forward line for just the second game in his career. ... Kings Jarret Stoll and Matt Greene played their first game in Edmonton since being traded by the Oilers over the summer for Lubomir Visnovsky. Stoll leads the Kings with four road goals this year. ...Wednesday was the fourth back-to-back set of games for the Kings, who fell 6-2 to Calgary on Tuesday. It was the first time L.A. has won the second match this season.

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