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Oilers defeat Kings to end nine-game losing streak

by Derek Van Diest

EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Oilers defeated the defending Stanley Cup champions to end a nine-game losing streak and give interim coach Todd Nelson his first NHL win.

Oilers forward David Perron scored the only goal in a four-round shootout in a 3-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings at Rexall Place on Tuesday.

The Oilers had not won since defeating the San Jose Sharks 2-1 on Dec. 7. It was their first win against Los Angeles in 11 games.

"It does feel really good," Nelson said. "I'm not sure it has sunk in yet. It is more or less a relief. It's a relief for everyone to get this win under our belts, and now we can build on the result."

Matt Hendricks and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored for Edmonton (8-22-7), which took a 2-0 lead into the third period before allowing goals to Kings defensemen Drew Doughty and Jake Muzzin. The Kings outshot the Oilers 15-1 in the third period.

Oilers goaltender Ben Scrivens made 37 saves for his sixth win of the season. Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick made 19 saves.

"I thought we played really well in the first two periods," Nelson said. "Once the third period came, they cranked it up a couple of notches and they hemmed us in. We bent, but we didn't break. [Scrivens] gave us a chance to win. It was nice to get a win for this group. It is very important right now."

The Oilers went into the game with one win in their past 21 games (1-14-6).

Tuesday was Nelson's sixth game as Oilers coach, but first without general manager Craig MacTavish by his side.

MacTavish accompanied Nelson on the bench in his first five games to help with the transition after Dallas Eakins was fired Dec. 15.

"We can still do a much better job pushing back when a team comes at us hard like that, but at the same time, it was a big game for our morale," Nugent-Hopkins said. "It was great to finally go to a game that goes to extra time this season and come away with the two points. Over the past little while, it has become pretty frustrating.

"We have to find a way to have the confidence in ourselves to not panic and to push right back. If we can do that, I think we will be fine in those situations."

Hendricks put Edmonton ahead at 4:37 of the first period, taking a pass from Derek Roy in the slot and one-timing a shot past Quick.

The assist was Roy's first point for the Oilers in his first game; he was acquired Monday in a trade with the Nashville Predators for center Mark Arcobello.

Shortly after the goal, Roy left the game, sustaining a cut on his ankle by a skate blade. He returned in the second period after getting stitches.

"Getting a win is the main thing right now," Roy said. "We just need to build on it. This should give us some confidence to make plays late in games. We can't allow ourselves to be under siege like we were in the third period. The more experience that we get knowing how to win, the better we are going to get."

Nugent-Hopkins increased the lead to 2-0 at 9:32 of the second period, snapping a shot past Quick from just inside the faceoff circle.

Doughty scored at 10:02 of the third period on a play requiring video review, cutting the lead to 2-1.

The Kings defenseman appeared to have hit the crossbar with a point shot and play continued. Once play stopped, the shot was reviewed, and it was determined the puck hit the back bar. The 34 seconds that had elapsed were put back on the clock.

"Drew said it was in," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. "[Jeff Carter] said something about the sound of it, he said it didn't sound right. We knew they were going to review it and at the first whistle we knew the League was going to call back. It had nothing to do with us, we're not calling that."

Muzzin tied the game at 17:35 on the power play. The Kings defenseman took a pass from Marian Gaborik at the side of the net and beat Scrivens on the short side. Oilers defenseman Justin Schultz took a high-sticking penalty at 16:59 to give Los Angeles the power play.

"This one is disappointing just like the last one," Muzzin said, referring to a 2-1 loss to the Calgary Flames on Monday. "We have to come out hungrier, more desperate, harder. I don't think we're coming out with the right attitude that we need to win hockey games right now."

In overtime, each team had chances to win the game. Edmonton outshot Los Angeles 4-2 in the extra period.

Carter, Anze Kopitar, Tyler Toffoli and Justin Williams failed to score for Los Angeles in the shootout. Roy, Eberle and Hendricks missed for Edmonton prior to Perron's deciding goal.

"Personally I thought it was one of my worst games, but as a team I thought it was a really good game for a lot of the guys on our team," Perron said. "In the third period, it really showed the type of team the Kings have."

The Oilers are at the Calgary Flames on Wednesday in the first of a two-game road trip. The Kings end a three-game Western Canada road trip at the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday.

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