Edmonton Oilers fend off Los Angeles Kings for 4-2 win

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The Edmonton Oilers ended a three-game winless slide with a 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings Monday night at Rogers Place.

“I think this is more the recipe we’re looking for,” Oilers defenceman Mattias Ekholm said after the game. “I thought it was a 60-minute game, and we haven’t had too many of them as of late.

“This was as close as we’ve gotten in the last 10 games or so.”

“It was probably good timing — just the way our game was trending lately — to have a game that was simple, and you have to stay in it the whole 60 (minutes),” Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said.

Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner earned the win in net with 38 saves.

The Kings opened the scoring 6:45 into the contest when Trevor Moore took a quick pass in front from Quinton Byfield and slammed the puck behind Skinner.

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The Oilers pulled even with 23.1 seconds to go in the first. Connor McDavid slid the puck over to Zach Hyman, who one-timed home his 38th of the season.

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In the second, the Kings’ Matt Roy easily stepped around Oilers blueliner Evan Bouchard as he brought the puck into the Oilers zone, leading to a goal by Alex Laferriere.

The Kings then went on back-to-back power plays but Skinner and Oilers penalty killers prevented any damage.

The Oilers went on the man advantage a few minutes later and Leon Draisaitl tied it by deftly deflecting Bouchard’s point shot.

“They were taking the flanks away, and the pass to Leo was open in the slot. He had a great tip,” Bouchard said.

“I thought Leon played really well tonight,” Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch said.

“A goal and an assist and a lot of good defensive plays — breaking up plays on the backcheck. More of what we like.”

Less than two minutes into the third, Draisaitl set up Bouchard for a massive blast from the blue line to make it 3-2 Oilers.

“He can really get velocity on them, and obviously he shoots it really hard, but you look at the goal tonight and it’s the top corners that are picked — that’s where he puts them,” Ekholm said of Bouchard’s shot.

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“I think that’s really what stands out. It seems effortless, but every time he gets an opportunity, he goes for the top corner and he usually hits them.”

With 3:29 left, Nugent-Hopkins and Connor Brown worked a perfect give-and-go, resulting in Nugent-Hopkins’ 16th of the campaign.

The Oilers (34-20-2) will host the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday. You can listen to the game live on 630 CHED, beginning with The Faceoff Show at 5 p.m. The actual game starts at 6:30 p.m.


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