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Oilers crowned by Kings

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers
The game featured a number of players returning to the lineup after lengthy absences. Kings goaltender Mathieu Garon was in goal after missing 11 games with a groin injury and Kings forward Alyn McCauley was playing his first game of the season.

Also, Ryan Smyth was back in the lineup for Edmonton after missing 10 games with a broken thumb.

Matt Greene took the game's first penalty but the Oilers used the Kings' power play to steal some momentum of their own. For most of the LA man advantage, Edmonton had the Kings pinned deep in their own end.

On one of the chances, Marty Reasoner whistled a blast from the high slot that Garon got a piece of with his glove.

With 10 seconds left in that power play, Pisani scored shorthanded to make it 1-0 Oilers. Stoll took the puck behind the net and then found Pisani alone in front. He took his time before finding an open spot and shooting it past Garon.

Smyth, playing on a line with Brad Winchester and Marc-Antoine Pouliot, got himself involved in the play early. Smyth's high-sticking minor put Los Angeles back on the power play and this time they converted.

Dustin Brown slipped the puck past Roloson during a scramble in front to tie the game at 1-1.

Los Angeles went back on the power play after a questionable tripping call on Hemsky. The Oilers winger had one hand on his stick when he upended the Kings player along the side boards.

Edmonton was able to kill off that penalty but several seconds after it expired Craig Conroy took the puck in the left corner and passed it in front to Brian Willsie who tipped it into the top corner and give the Kings a 2-1 edge.

With 3:11 left in the period, Scott Thornton went absolutely berzerk in the corner of the Edmonton zone as he dropped his gloves before fighting Daniel Tjarnqvist. For his actions, Thornton received two for instigating, five for fighting, a 10-minute misconduct and game misconduct while Tjarnqvist received no penalties.

Three minutes into the seven-minute power play Tjarnqvist got some sweet revenge as he teed up a shot from the right point. Garon got a piece of the shot but not enough as it trickled over the line.

After a review to see whether Smyth touched it with a high stick in front, it was ruled that he did not knock it down.

After one, shots on goal were 16-10 for Los Angeles.

Early in the third with the Oilers still on the power play, Ales Hemsky attempted to break through the Los Angeles defence but was impeded by Brent Sopel. As a result, Edmonton went on a two-man advantage.

With five seconds left in the two-man power play, Smyth scored to put Edmonton back in front at 3-2. Hemsky threw the puck across the crease where Mattias Norstrom accidentally cleared it right to Smyth who put it into the open net.

32 seconds after the Smyth goal, Jarret Stoll scored on a blast from the left point with time ticking down in the Sopel penalty. Stoll's marker made it three unanswered power play goals for the Oilers.

Near the midway point of the second, Edmonton got into some penalty trouble as Reasoner and Stoll took minors two minutes apart. With Stoll in the box, Rob Blake pinched in from the right point before taking a pass from Alexander Frolov. Blake one-timed it into the yawning cage for the goal.

Frolov struck again with seven minutes left in the second, putting the puck into the open net after a scramble in front of Roloson. It was the Kings' third power play goal on the night.

With two minutes left in the second the Kings took their second lead of the night. The puck was thrown in front of the net before deflecting in off the foot of Avery. The play was reviewed but it was ruled Avery did not kick the puck in.

After two periods, shots were 28-21 for Los Angeles. Joffrey Lupul received an interference penalty at the end of the period, giving the Kings a power play to start the third.

The Oilers had some chances to tie the game early in the final frame but it was Los Angeles that would eventually find the twine and take a two-goal lead.

Lubomir Visnovsky one-timed a shot from between the circles deep in the Oilers zone. Roloson had trouble handling the rolling shot as it slipped behind him to make it a 6-4 game.

In the dying minutes of the period, Edmonton peppered shots on the Kings net but Garon stood tall and made big saves when it counted most.

Garon's best save came with 1:30 left as he slid across to make a diving glove stop on Smyth.

Alyn McCauley added an empty netter to make the final 7-4 for Los Angeles.

The Oilers had 18 shots in the third period and ended up outshooting the Kings 39-38 on the night.
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