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Matt Fraser powers Oilers past Kings 4-2; LA's playoff chances take hit

NHL.com @NHL

EDMONTON - Matt Fraser scored a pair of goals as the Edmonton Oilers dealt the playoff hopes of the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings a massive blow, emerging with a 4-2 victory on Tuesday.

Benoit Pouliot and Tyler Pitlick also scored for the Oilers (24-43-13), who snapped a three-game losing skid.

Jake Muzzin and Drew Doughty replied for the Kings (39-26-15), who have lost two straight at a time when they can't afford to let any points escape.

Los Angeles now trails Winnipeg by three points and the Calgary Flames by two points with only two games remaining for all three teams in the hunt for the final two playoff spots in the Western Conference.

The Kings loss clinches a playoff spot for the Vancouver Canucks.

After a scoreless first, the Oilers broke the deadlock 2:34 into the second period as Fraser tipped a Martin Marincin shot and then swept his own rebound into an open net behind L.A. goalie Martin Jones.

The Kings tied it up on the power play six minutes into the second as an Anze Kopitar shot came off the boards right to Muzzin at the side of the net for an easy goal on Edmonton starter Richard Bachman. Doughty picked up his 200th career assist on the play.

Pouliot stole a puck from Trevor Lewis and went in alone before beating Jones stick-side to help the Oilers regain the lead midway through the second.

Edmonton went up 3-1 five minutes into the third as Pitlick took a bounce off the boards in front and picked the top corner in his return to the lineup after missing the last 41 games with a spleen injury.

The Kings closed back to within one midway through the third as Doughty took a power play shot from centre ice and it trickled through Bachman.

Fraser put the game away for the Oilers with an empty-net goal.

Both teams return to the ice on Thursday as the Kings play a crucial game in Calgary, while the Oilers play their final home game against San Jose.

Notes: Edmonton came into the game with a record of just 1-8-1 in their last 10 games against the Kings, including a humbling 8-2 road loss last Thursday... Bachman returned from a personal leave after his older brother, Shelby, died last week??? Jones was a surprise start for the Kings, but had recorded shutouts in both of his previous appearances against the Oilers.

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