Oilers hold off Kings for 4-3 win
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Edmonton coach Todd McLellan figured he was due to win a challenge. He was right, and that allowed the Oilers to hold on for a win they nearly gave away.
Ryan Strome’s empty-net goal at 19:01 of the third period and a successful coach’s challenge to overturn an apparent goal by Dustin Brown with less than 10 seconds left gave Edmonton a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.
Brown tipped in Drew Doughty’s shot to cut it to 4-3 with 18 seconds remaining and appeared to tie it with 9.8 seconds to play when he batted the puck over the line while making contact with goalie Cam Talbot’s pads. The play was ruled no goal on the ice and changed after a video review, but the Oilers challenged for goaltender interference and the goal was waived off.
“Not one that we wanted to be challenging,” McLellan said. “I thought we could have done a better job, obviously, in those last few minutes. But not going to dwell on that a lot. We haven’t won in this building in a long, long time, so we’ll take any type of win that we can get.”
Kings coach John Stevens was angry about the reversal, saying Brown never impeded Talbot’s opportunity to make a save.
“I think the league is so confused that I’m confused, right? I don’t think they know what it is, so how the hell are we supposed to know what it is, right? There’s a loose puck sitting in the crease and he jams it in the net. I sure as heck would like to see it count as a goal. I think that’s just a good, hard, hockey goal,” Stevens said.
Anton Slepyshev, Leon Draisaitl and Jujhar Khaira scored for the Oilers, who won for the third time in four games and kept the Kings from moving back into playoff position. Talbot made 30 saves.
Michael Cammalleri, who started the season with the Kings before being traded to the Oilers on Nov. 14, recorded three assists and has 10 in his last 11 games.
Tyler Toffoli and Tobias Rieder also scored for the Kings, who are two points behind Calgary for third place in the Pacific Division and two points behind Anaheim for the second Western Conference wild card. Jonathan Quick stopped 21 shots.
Kings center Jeff Carter returned after missing 55 games following surgery to repair a cut on his leg in October. He had four shots and won 11 of 16 faceoffs in 17:36.
After getting walloped 5-0 and 5-2 in their first two games against the Kings, the Oilers needed 51 seconds to take a 1-0 lead on Slepyshev’s fourth goal. Strome found Slepyshev for a one-timer during a delayed penalty, giving Edmonton its first lead over Los Angeles this season.
The Oilers had to kill three penalties in the first, including 1:06 of 5-on-3 play after Darnell Nurse put the puck over the glass. Talbot stopped all five shots during the Kings’ power plays, including two dangerous shots by Toffoli from close range.
Draisaitl gave the Oilers a 2-0 lead at 6:16 of the second, finishing off Cammalleri’s pass with a one-timer from the slot for his ninth point in his last eight games.
Toffoli scored his 20th goal to get Los Angeles on the board at 14:26, but Khaira darted through two Kings and scored into the top netting to restore a two-goal lead at 3-1 with 2:56 left in the period.
Rieder batted in his first goal for the Kings since being acquired from Arizona in a trade, making it 3-2 at 7:51 of the third. Strome scored an empty-netter for a 4-2 lead with 59 seconds left, setting the stage for a frantic final minute.
“It got a little nerve-wracking there at the end,” Oilers defenseman Adam Larsson said. “Who knows how the call is going to go? I didn’t really know what to expect, but it ended up good.”
NOTES: Oilers forward Drake Caggiula left in the second period after blocking a shot. . Edmonton forward Patrick Maroon (lower body) is expected back in the lineup at Anaheim on Sunday after missing the last two games. ... Edmonton traded D Brandon Davidson to the New York Islanders for a 2019 third-round draft pick.
Oilers: Visit the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday night.
Kings: Host the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday night.
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