Edmonton Oilers stop L.A. Kings’ winning streak

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Stuart Skinner made 32 saves and Connor McDavid had a goal and two assists as the Edmonton Oilers dropped the Los Angeles Kings 4-1 Thursday night at Rogers Place.

The Kings’ win streak ended at four.

“It’s always hard against these guys — they’re as hard as they come,” McDavid reflected after the game. “They’re structured and responsible. It requires a patient game — a mature game — and I thought we showed that on all levels.”

“If we were to play them in the playoffs, they’re going to elevate their game a little bit and we’re going to make sure that we elevate our game also,” Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch said.

McDavid scored the only goal of a physical and at times chippy first period. With the teams playing four-on-four, he knocked down Mattias Ekholm’s point shot and shovelled in a backhand for his 27th of the season.

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“The best defence is a good offence, and we want to be on the attack all the time,” Knoblauch said.

Skinner made two saves in succession, off Kings forwards Adrian Kempe and Anze Kopitar, after a turnover deep in the Oilers’ end late in the second period.

With 15.8 ticks to go in the second, Leon Draisaitl’s backhand banked in off Adam Henrique’s body for a 2-0 Oilers lead. It was Henrique’s 21st of the season.

“Those guys are so skilled, I’m just trying to establish that net-front presence and got a fortunate bounce on that one,” Henrique said.

“You’re just trying to get to the front of the net and create some havoc and take the fortunate bounce.”

“We have to use him more because he’s a big part of this team,” Knoblauch said of the recently-acquired Henrique.

Oilers defenceman Evan Bouchard ended a 14-game goalless drought by hammering home a power-play goal 5:05 into the third.

Skinner stopped Pierre-Luc Dubois on a two-on-one halfway through the third.

“It’s always a great battle playing against these guys,” Skinner admitted.

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Arthur Kaliyev buried a shot from the slot to give the Kings life with 6:13 to go.

Skinner made several good saves as the Kings applied pressure down the stretch. Oilers defenceman Cody Ceci put it away with an empty-netter.

The Oilers (44-23-4) will host the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday. You can listen to the game live on 630 CHED, beginning with The Faceoff Show at 12:30 p.m. The actual game starts at 2 p.m.

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