LOS ANGELES - While Jonathan Quick gave up three goals on Edmonton's first 14 shots, the Los Angeles Kings couldn't score until their 46th shot on Oilers rookie Devan Dubnyk. After Quick's teammates rallied to force a shootout, their goalie couldn't make another save.
Although the playoff-bound Kings probably should be worried about their goaltending, the NHL-worst Oilers have ample reason to feel good about their future in net.
Dubnyk made 52 saves and denied the Kings' last two shootout attempts, leading the Oilers past Los Angeles 4-3 Saturday in a victory that seriously hurt the Kings' hopes of finishing fifth in the Western Conference.
Tom Gilbert had a short-handed goal and two assists for the Oilers, who have won three straight near the close of their worst season since 1994. Edmonton blew a three-goal lead in the third period, but Ryan Potulny and Shawn Horcoff scored on the Oilers' only two shootout attempts.
Count veteran Oilers coach Pat Quinn among those who aren't sure about the Kings' fitness for their first post-season run since 2002. Los Angeles is in a 3-3-3 skid heading into Sunday's season finale at Colorado, losing three times during a franchise-record four straight shootouts.
"The Kings have some talent and grit, but the goals we had were easy," Quinn said. "So if they keep that as a standard, then they won't go far in the playoffs. They have great forwards that play well, and (Drew) Doughty and (Jack) Johnson are very talented on the defensive side, so once they have solid goaltending, they will always have a chance to win."
Quick began the season impressively while setting the franchise record for victories, but after an exhausting winter that included a trip to the Vancouver Olympics with the U.S. team and the birth of his first child, he has failed in eight straight tries at his 40th victory.
He made just 13 saves against Edmonton in his club-record 72nd appearance of the season. The Staples Center crowd booed its team when Gilbert scored his fifth goal of the season early in the third period on a stoppable shot that somehow eluded Quick.
"It doesn't bother me," Quick said of his 0-3-3 record while being yanked twice in eight games since March 22. "There's no reason it should. As a team, and me personally, we've won plenty of games to be confident that we're going to win more, so it doesn't affect me at all."
Mike Comrie scored two early goals and the Oilers spoiled the Kings' home finale, making the most of their meagre scoring chances in front of Dubnyk's fourth career victory. With just its second win in 23 road games, Edmonton snapped a 10-game winless streak on the road since Feb. 11, when the Oilers beat the Kings in another shootout.
"The guys were really battling out there for me today, and that's how I was able to take away some of those 50-50 pucks," said Dubnyk, who played in 13 games before getting his first NHL victory last month. "It's never an easy last game of the season, especially when we're not in the playoffs, but there are jobs up for grabs, and no one wants to end on a sour note."
Michal Handzus scored the tying goal with 2:34 left in regulation and connected again in the shootout for the Kings, who took a season-high 55 shots, although precious few of them seemed to be clear scoring chances.
Captain Dustin Brown and Jarret Stoll also scored third-period goals for the Kings, who erased a 3-0 deficit in the final 13:21 on the 28th anniversary of the "Miracle on Manchester" - the Kings' improbable rally from a 5-0 third-period deficit against Edmonton in the 1982 playoffs.
The Kings could have finished in fifth place in the Western Conference by winning their final two games, but this loss to the NHL's worst team opened the door for Detroit to clinch the No. 5 spot with a victory at Chicago on Sunday. Los Angeles could slip to seventh behind Nashville.
"These are important games right now, and to not get two points today is a real disappointment," Kings defenceman Sean O'Donnell said. "I think we need to realize you cannot just turn it on come Wednesday or Thursday next week. It's hard to poke too many holes when shots are like that, but we still need to find a way to get those two points."
Brown ended Dubnyk's bid for his first career shutout with an easy rebound goal, and Stoll fired a shot over Dubnyk's glove for his 15th goal 5?????? minutes later.
After Los Angeles took two penalties and killed off the ensuing two-man disadvantage, Rob Scuderi's shot from the point hit Edmonton's Jason Strudwick and fell to Handzus. His blind backhand shot slipped underneath Dubnyk for his 20th goal on the Kings' 52nd shot, matching their season high.
NOTES: Gilbert has three goals in nine games after scoring just two in his first 72. ... Edmonton can match the 1993-94 club's 64 points with a win at Anaheim on Sunday, though the 1994 club didn't have the benefit of shootouts and points from overtime losses. ... C Jeff Halpern returned to the Kings' lineup after missing three games because of an upper-body injury.