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Oilers 3, Islanders 2

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EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -There seems to be no such thing as an easy two points for the Edmonton Oilers, even when they're at home against a struggling team.

Andrew Cogliano's goal midway through the third period gave Edmonton a 3-2 victory over the New York Islanders on Monday night.

"We just couldn't lose this game," Cogliano said. "When a team comes in the way they did, you have to win it."

Fourth-liners Kyle Brodziak and Jason Strudwick also scored for the Oilers, who have won four of their last five at home and moved into a tie with Minnesota for eighth place in the Western Conference.

Kyle Okposo and Blake Comeau had goals for the Islanders (12-25-4), who have lost 13 straight road games and 15 of their last 17 overall in falling to last place in the NHL standings.

"That was a winnable game and it slipped away from us," captain Bill Guerin said. "Give them credit - they hung in there, too. It was one of those games where whoever's going to stick around longest and not break and catch a break is going to win, and that's what happened."

The victory came less than a week after Ottawa won in Edmonton to snap a 12-game road losing skid.

"It was a big win for us and a confidence boost going into our next game against the Canucks, which I feel is one of our biggest games of the season," Cogliano said. "Some mental errors set us back at the beginning but we found a way to get through it."

Okposo scored 4 minutes into the game and the Islanders went up 2-0 on a power play when Comeau scored on a wrist shot 2.5 seconds left in the first period.

The Islanders almost went ahead 3-0 when a shot went through goalie Dwayne Roloson's legs in the crease. But Edmonton took the puck right back into the Islanders zone and scored at 10:50 when Brodziak's shot from the corner deflected off the skate of Islanders defenseman Brendan Witt and past goalie Joey MacDonald.

"That first goal was an innocent play, went through the crease and off a skate and into the net. And then the second goal was the same thing, off another skate," MacDonald said. "Just two unlucky bounces for us. You take them out of it and it's a win for us. Hopefully in the next game or so, we can start getting some bounces like that."

Edmonton's fourth line got the job done again just 3 minutes later when Zack Stortini sent a pass from behind the net that was directed in by Strudwick. The goal was reviewed at length as it appeared to have been kicked in, but stood for Strudwick's first of the season.

"It was just one of those games that it was going to be ugly goals that won it and luckily enough our line was able to produce them," said Strudwick, a journeyman forward who has also played defense for the Oilers this season. "It let the other lines just play their game, which is what we needed at the time."

Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish thought his fourth line made a big difference.

"They played a really simple game and got a lot done tonight," he said. "It was a good lesson for everyone. It doesn't have to be pretty all of the time. They did a great job to help us come back and win the game. They typify what a fourth line should be."

The Oilers took the lead with 10:02 to play when Marc Pouliot's shot landed in front of the net and seemed to sit there for a while before Cogliano swooped in for his 12th goal.

"We didn't obviously get any calls," New York coach Scott Gordon said. "Tim Jackman goes in, which should obviously be a power play for us, doesn't get the call. They go opposite end and Joey gets run, no call. A goal gets kicked in, they rule it didn't get kicked in, it looks like it was kicked in to me. We played a good game."

Notes: It was the only meeting of the season between the teams. ... Pouliot returned after missing two games with a concussion. The same ailment again kept Ales Hensky, Edmonton's leading scorer, out. ... The Islanders were without their leading scorer as Doug Weight was injured during the morning skate in a collision with a goalie. ... If the Islanders lose in Calgary on Thursday, they will move within one loss of matching their franchise-worst 15-game road skid, set during 1972-73.

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