Los Angeles at Edmonton

Smyth's two goals in second lead Kings over Oilers

CBSSports.com wire reports

EDMONTON, Alberta -- Nikolai Khabibulin has never had a losing streak this long.

The skid hit 12 starts when Khabibulin and the slumping Edmonton Oilers were beaten 3-1 by the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday.

"I don't think I've ever lost that many in a row," Khabibulin said. "It's been strange. There were a few games that we should have won and didn't.

"I'm trying not to get frustrated. Obviously, I am not happy about it. You just have to keep trying and trying."

Ryan Smyth scored two goals to lead Los Angeles to victory. Jack Johnson added a goal and two assists for the Kings, who completed the second game of a 10-game road trip. Los Angeles improved to 4-0-1 in its last five outings.

"He does a great job on the power play," Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said of Smyth. "Both of those goals, he didn't let the goalie see them.

"Whether he tipped them or not, it doesn't really matter, the goals were scored mostly because of him. If the goalie is able to see that puck it's never going to go in."

Magnus Paajarvi scored for the Oilers (15-27-8), who have lost two straight and 16 of 19.

Edmonton coach Tom Renney was behind the bench despite the death of his father on Tuesday.

Renney said Khabibulin and the Oilers can't get beaten down by the losing.

"He wants to get off the [losing streak] and I'll continue to give him the opportunity to do so," Renney said. "As with our team, we can't allow frustration to become the enemy here because it can quite quickly take the wind out of your sails and hurt an awful lot of good work.

"As much as the standings suggest otherwise, we have done a lot of good things here and will continue to do so. Like anybody else, he has to stand tall through all of this and find a way to get through it."

The Oilers controlled the bulk of the play for most of the scoreless first period, outshooting the Kings 12-5, but Los Angeles had the best chance with five minutes left.

Anze Kopitar had Khabibulin down, but hit defender Tom Gilbert with a shot before the net was knocked off the moorings.

Edmonton came close a couple times on the power play late in the first but Kurtis Foster's slap shot hit the post. A loose puck that had fallen behind goalie Jonathan Quick was then cleared to safety before Linus Omark could get to it.

The Oilers opened the scoring three minutes into the second period as Sam Gagner made a beautiful move to spin past Los Angeles' Trevor Lewis and found Paajarvi at the side of the net for the goal.

Los Angeles countered 24 seconds later on the power play as Smyth tipped Doughty's shot past Khabibulin for his 20th goal. The Kings went ahead 2-1 midway through the second on another power play as Smyth seemed to again deflected Doughty's point shot.

"It's nice to contribute on the power play," Smyth said. "Our power play has been lacking of late. It's something that can win or lose you hockey games, and we were able to capitalize on two of them. I didn't touch the second one. I don't even think I got the first one, I just try to cause them."

Los Angeles had a chance to go ahead by two goals four minutes into the third when Jarret Stoll was awarded a penalty shot after being hauled down by Ladislav Smid. Stoll was unable to slip the puck between Khabibulin's pads.

The Kings went ahead 3-1 with five minutes remaining when Johnson's shot from the point found its way into the net.


  • The Kings won the two previous meetings against the Oilers in Los Angeles.
  • The Kings are 7-0-4 against the Oilers since losing 5-4 on Feb. 28, 2008.
  • Oilers forward Ales Hemsky returned after missing four games and All-Star weekend because of a concussion.
  • Edmonton sent RW Zack Stortini to Oklahoma City (AHL) after he cleared waivers.
  • Oilers rookie RW Jordan Eberle is expected to return to the lineup on Friday. Eberle has been out since Jan. 1 with a sprained ankle.
  • Los Angeles was without LW Scott Parse (hip). LW Marco Sturm (knee) is day-to-day.
  • The Kings are on the long road trip became their home arena will host the Grammy Awards and the NBA All-Star Game.
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Ryan Smyth scores two goals in a game for the fourth time this season, but is still looking for his first hat trick. (AP)
Ryan Smyth scores two goals in a game for the fourth time this season, but is still looking for his first hat trick. (AP)
Los Angeles  (28-22-2) «0213
Edmonton (15-27-8)0101
Three Stars
R. Smyth

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
J. Johnson

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 2
M. Paajarvi

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0

Related Video

Scoring Summary
03:21 - Magnus Paajarvi (7), Wrist Shot. Assist: Gagner, Omark
03:45Power Play - Ryan Smyth (20), Tip-In. Assist: Doughty, Johnson
09:47Power Play - Ryan Smyth (21), Slap Shot. Assist: Doughty, Johnson
14:52 - Jack Johnson (5), Slap Shot, Unassisted.
Penalty Summary
06:29Williams, 2 min, Hooking
11:58Stoll, 2 min, Tripping
15:47Brown, 2 min, Slashing
39.0Peckham, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
03:40Penner, 2 min, Elbowing
08:45Peckham, 2 min, Holding
10:13Mitchell, 2 min, High-Sticking
17:40Jones, 2 min, Hooking
02:58Jacques, 2 min, Roughing
02:58Mitchell, 2 min, Roughing
19:33Doughty, 2 min, Tripping
Shots On Goal
Jonathan Quick60:00321
Nikolai Khabibulin58:44233
Game Information
Attendance - 16839
Referees - Eric Furlatt, Tom Kowal
Linesmen - Greg Devorski, Jay Sharrers
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Ott 5
NYI 0 Final
Pitt 3
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Pho 0
SJ 4 Final
Ana 3