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Smyth-Horcoff-Hemsky lead the way

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers
Edmonton got off to a fast start, buzzing around the Kings' zone early. In particular, the line of Ryan Smyth, Shawn Horcoff and Ales Hemsky were able to get the puck in deep and create some scoring chances.

At the 2:48 mark, the line skated into the Kings' zone along the left side boards. Hemsky flipped the puck to Horcoff who dished it to Smyth. He then wristed it from the left circle and beat Sean Burke five hole.

Seven minutes in, Jarret Stoll chipped the puck past Kings defenceman Kevin Dallman and skated in alone on Burke. His low wrister was stopped by the Kings netminder.

Shortly after, Staios had an opportunity to score in his first game back from injury. He pinched in from the point before cutting in front of the Kings' net and backhanded it glove side on Burke.

The Oilers continued to carry the play as period one went on. Solid forechecking along the boards by Hemsky eventually drew a Kings penalty to Derek Armstrong, giving Edmonton its first power play of the night.

On the ensuing power play, Edmonton's best chance came when Hemsky wired a shot off the post. Los Angeles also had a shorthanded chance. When Markkanen was unable to play the puck because it was in the no-touch zone behind the net, Brian Willsie came in and scooped it up before attempting to stuff it past the Oilers netminder. Markkanen was able to sprawl across the crease and make the save.

After the penalty expired, Frolov had a great chance at the top of the crease but again Markkanen made a save to keep his team in front.

With 27.9 seconds left in the period, Los Angeles finally struck to knot the game at 1-1. Mike Cammalleri's shot from the point was tipped on its way to the net before beating Markkanen top corner.

Shots on goal after one were 12-11 for the Oilers.

Much like the opening period, the Oilers came out flying to start period two. Ales Hemsky created a turnover in the Edmonton end and created a two-on-one with Jan Hejda. They couldn't score on the initial chance but the puck eventually cycled back to Hemsky at the right side of Burke and he put it top shelf.

Shortly after the goal, Kopitar made a move around Ladislav Smid before passing it across the crease to Dustin Brown. Markkanen slid across to make a remarkable pad save on Brown who looked like he had an easy tap-in for the goal.

Los Angeles kept coming at the Oilers and their pressure deep in the Edmonton zone eventually drew a slashing penalty to Jason Smith. 15 seconds later, Steve Staios was also sent off for slashing and the Kings had a lengthy two-man advantage.

Markkanen made a pair of huge saves early in the five-on-three. First, he came across to make snag a Mike Cammalleri shot with his glove and then about 20 seconds later he kicked out a Frolov one timer.

The Oilers were able to kill off the five-on-three but another penalty to Staios several minutes later put the Kings up a man once again.

With time ticking down on that power play, Patrick O'Sullivan skated in and picked up a rebound before lifting the puck over a fallen Markkanen to tie the game at 2-2.

Brian Willsie created a turnover at the Kings blueline, chipping the puck past Matt Greene to give his team a three-on-one. He elected to shoot and beat Markkanen low just inside the far post to put his team in the lead for the first time on the night.

The Kings outshot the Oilers 16-5 in period two and 27-17 after 40 minutes.

Once again, the Hemsky-Smyth-Horcoff line set the tempo early in the third period and once again it led to an early Oilers goal.

1:07 into the period, Smyth fired a shot that Burke had trouble with. He knocked the puck back into the slot with his glove and Horcoff put in the rebound to tie the game at 3-3.

Markkanen continued his strong play, extending his glove out to grab a blast from Anze Kopitar off the end boards.

The Oilers looked to take the lead eight minutes into the period when Staios' blast from the right point ricocheted off Smyth in front before going into the net. The play was reviewed and it was determined to be a goal.

Edmonton kept putting the pressure on the Kings, outshooting Los Angeles 13-5 within the first 11 minutes of the third. Their hard work resulted in a penalty to Matty Norstrom giving the Oilers their second power play of the night.

As if four goals wasn't enough, the Smyth-Horcoff-Hemsky line almost made it a fifth with a minute left in the third. Smyth cut across the crease and had a gaping net with Burke down and out but he shot it just wide.

NOTES: Kings defenceman Kevin Dallman left the game in the first period with an undisclosed injury and did not return... Horcoff's three-point night was a season high while Smyth and Hemsky's four-point night matched a career high for both players.
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