EDMONTON, Alberta -- With all their high-end talent, the Edmonton Oilers’ latest win was hardly the sort of flashy exhibition they’ve been putting on display lately.
And that was just fine with them.
Leon Draisaitl and Alex Chiasson each had a goal and an assist in the opening period as Edmonton moved back into first place in the Pacific Division with a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Friday night.
“Mucky, ugly, chip-it, pingpong hockey. But, we got the two points, so we move on,” Oilers coach Dave Tippett said. “With our lineup the way it is right now (due to injuries), we’re trying to grind out some points and that is what we did tonight.
“We knew we needed a tight, hard-checking game just to get us back set in the right direction.”
Mikko Koskinen made 35 saves for the Oilers (18-10-3), who improved to 8-4-2 at home.
Koskinen was pulled after allowing three goals on 12 shots in a 5-2 loss to Ottawa the previous game and was happy about the opportunity to redeem himself.
“It shows that the coaches are trusting me and giving me a chance to go back there after one bad game,” he said. “It’s always good to shake that off right away.”
Michael Amadio scored for the Kings (11-17-2), who have lost three straight overall and 10 in a row on the road.
“It’s frustrating to lose this game,” forward Blake Lizotte said. “I thought we were good basically all three periods and they scored two power-play goals, which they’ve done all year.
“We have chances, we put pucks to the net and unfortunately they didn’t fall for us. That’s been the case lately.”
Edmonton’s top-ranked power play got the Oilers on the board 11 minutes into the first period as Draisaitl’s attempt to pass through traffic deflected off defender Drew Doughty’s leg and past Kings goalie Jonathan Quick. It was Draisaitl’s 19th goal of the season.
Los Angeles appeared to tie the game with six minutes left in the opening period on a goal by Lizotte, but it was disallowed on an offside call following a video review.
The Oilers got another power-play goal a minute after that when Connor McDavid made a great feed through to Chiasson, who had an easy tap-in into a wide-open net.
After a scoreless second period and several big saves by Koskinen, the Kings got back into the game with 6:28 to play in the third when a puck was loose in the crease before Amadio jammed it in to make it 2-1.
There was some frantic play in the final minutes, but Edmonton hung on.
NOTES: It was the third of four meetings between the teams this season. The last one is Feb. 23 in Los Angeles. ... Koskinen made his third consecutive start, the first time this season an Oilers goalie got the nod three games in a row. ... Out injured for the Oilers were Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (hand), Zack Kassian (back) and Matt Benning (head), while the Kings were without Derek Forbort (back) and Alec Martinez (wrist).
Kings: At the Calgary Flames on Saturday.
Oilers: Play for the third time on a four-game homestand Sunday against Buffalo.
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