"It was like 80's night," remarked Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish after the game. "Really open hockey, which is okay when you come out on the right end of it."
Mathieu Garon got the start in goal for the Oilers versus Dan Cloutier for Los Angeles, sporting his old school helmet in his fifth appearance of 2007-08.
It only took the Oilers 47 seconds to get the puck past Cloutier. Andrew Cogliano whistled a shot from the high slot that beat the Kings goaltender glove side.
Edmonton went on the power play for the first time about five minutes into the game after Raitis Ivanans received two minutes for holding the stick.
On that man advantage, Sam Gagner peeled off the side boards and wristed a shot from the left circle that rang off the post short side on Cloutier.
As Ivanans came out of the box, he picked up the puck and skated in on a partial breakaway. However, he was held up from behind by Tom Gilbert resulting in a Kings power play.
Shots through the first seven minutes of the period were 7-1 for Edmonton as they dominated the play.
L.A. got a few shots from the outside on their power play but nothing too dangerous.
In the final minute, Cogliano came within inches of making it 2-0 but couldn't get a handle on the puck while perched at the right side of the net.
The play carried back the other way with Anze Kopitar. He took a pass from Dustin Brown, skated up ice and outwaited Garon before eventually roofing the puck over the Oilers goaltender, tying the game at 1-1.
Shots on goal after one were 9-8 for Edmonton.
Early in the second, Garon came across to make a pad save on Dustin Brown. The Kings forward looked to have caught him out of position but the Oilers goaltender was able to make enough of a recovery for the save.
Jarret Stoll carried the puck in the other direction for Edmonton, firing a shot high glove side on Cloutier. The Kings goaltender made a nice glove save on the play.
Los Angeles took a 2-1 lead several minutes later as Patrick O'Sullivan blasted a slap shot from the left circle past Garon for the goal.
Three minutes later, the Oilers tied the game at 2-2. Ales Hemsky scored a highlight-reel goal diving across the crease Bobby Orr style to get the puck around Cloutier.
1:01 after Hemsky's goal, Edmonton struck to re-take the lead. Sam Gagner blasted a shot from the left point that was kicked out by Cloutier but it went right on the stick of Nilsson who backhanded it in.
57 seconds after that, Los Angeles scored to knot the game up once again. Jack Johnson's initial shot was stopped by Garon but Dustin Brown picked up the rebound and fired it in to make it a 3-3 game.
Hemsky scored his second goal of the game at 16:52. He fired a low wrist shot from the high slot. Cloutier saw nothing while being screened by Penner as the puck slipped past him.
A minute and eight seconds later, Pisani barrelled up ice after taking a pass from Geoff Sanderson and deked out Cloutier for the goal - giving Edmonton a two-goal lead at 5-3.
Shots on goal after two periods were 19-15 for Edmonton.
Los Angeles pressured to get back to within a goal early in the third period but Garon did a good job keeping the puck out on several occasions with the Kings scrambling for their fourth marker.
Strong forechecking by Gagner and Nilsson forced Rob Blake to upend Gagner, giving Edmonton a power play midway through the third.
With 12 seconds left in the Blake penalty, Kopitar took the puck off of Hemsky and skated in on a two-on-one with Brown. Kopitar fed the puck over to his teammate and Brown made no mistake, wiring a shot just under the crossbar.
A penalty to Matt Greene with 7:39 left gave Los Angeles a good chance to tie the game up but the Oilers were able to limit the Kings to a couple of shots from the outside.
After the penalty expired, the Kings continued to pour on the pressure. Lubomir Visnovsky rang a shot from the left point right off the mask of Garon. The sequence ended when Kyle Calder was sent off for interference with 5:01 to play in the third.
In the final minute, Stortini had a look at the open net from the neutral zone but fanned on his shot attempt. However, the Oilers were still able to hold on for the victory.
NOTES: Sanderson's assist on the Pisani goal was the 700th point of his NHL career... Nilsson and Cogliano both increased their scoring streaks to three games with their goals... The game was Hemsky's second multiple-goal game and 14th multiple-point game. He is one behind Shawn Horcoff (15) in that category.
Fernando Pisani scores the Oilers' fifth goal late in the second period.
- photo by Greg Skafte edmontonoilers.com