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Mikko Koskinen backstops Edmonton Oilers to win over Kings

A look at the Edmonton Oilers season 20 games in
WATCH ABOVE: Some recent video about the Edmonton Oilers.

Mikko Koskinen made 35 saves as the Edmonton Oilers held on for a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings Friday night at Rogers Place.

Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl scored on the power play when his cross-ice pass deflected in off Kings defenceman Drew Doughty’s skate.

“It wasn’t pretty, but at the end of the day, nobody is going to ask if it’s pretty or not,” Draisaitl said after the game.

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“It’s two points for us and that’s really all that matters.”

LISTEN BELOW: Oilers coach Dave Tippett speaks after Edmonton’s 2-1 win over Los Angeles

The Kings celebrated a rebound goal by Blake Lizotte a few minutes later, but the Oilers successfully challenged the play for offside and kept their lead.

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“I watched it on the bench. It was close, but we felt confident about it,” Oilers head coach Dave Tippett said of the decision to challenge the play.

“[Assistant coach Glen Gulutzan] says to me he thinks we should challenge it. I have a look at it and I’ll take his recommendation,” Tippett said, adding the initial suggestion came from Oilers video coach Jeremy Coupal.

“I knew it was close,” Lizotte said. “When you drag your foot, you’re not sure where the line is exactly.

“I knew it was going to be close. Even when I scored, I thought, ‘OK, they’re going to review it.’ Sure enough, it was a centimetre or two. It was real close.”

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The Oilers had another power play later in the first period. Edmonton captain Connor McDavid set up Alex Chiasson for a tap-in to make it 2-0.

“That’s been the story lately, so we’ve got to figure it out how not to fall behind,” Kings captain Anze Kopitar said. “Essentially, you get the first goal and play with the lead (and) it’s a lot more fun.

“It’s way better. And we’re going to have to figure it out.”

READ MORE: Senators win over Oilers again in Edmonton

The Kings’ Austin Wagner had two point-blank chances in the final six minutes of the second period, but both times he was turned away by Koskinen.

READ MORE: Edmonton Oilers Patrick Russell still searching for first NHL goal

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Los Angeles netminder Jonathan Quick kept the Kings within two with big saves on Draisaitl and James Neal in the third.

“If you look at our five-on-five game tonight, we were probably the better team — creating more chances — but the game consists of the special teams, and special teams nowadays are a huge part of the games, and we lost it tonight,” Kopitar said of the Kings.

The Kings’ Michael Amadio finally solved Koskinen with 6:28 to go, sliding the puck in after a scramble in front.

The Kings pulled Quick with 1:45 to go. Koskinen made a final glove save on a goal-mouth deflection by Los Angeles forward Jeff Carter with five seconds left.

LISTEN BELOW: Oilers goalie Mikko Koskinen speaks after backstopping Edmonton to a 2-1 over the Kings

“Usually that happens when they pull the goalie,” Koskinen said. “They get a little more pressure and shots to the net, but they didn’t get anything too dangerous, so I’m happy for the win.”

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“We just said, ‘Let’s give Kosk a chance to redeem himself,’ because we’ve done the same for [Mike Smith] a couple times and actually got really good games out of him, so that’s what we were looking for tonight and Kosk came in and played a heck of a game for us,” Tippett said.

LISTEN BELOW: Oilers forward Alex Chiasson speaks after Edmonton’s Friday night win over the Kings

The Oilers (18-10-3) will host Buffalo Sunday night.

–With files from 630 CHED’s Brenden Escott and Scott Johnston