Anze Kopitar, Dwight King and Matt Greene all recorded multi-point nights, while the Oilers were unable to generate shots and a sustained attack, resulting a 4-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Friday night at Rexall Place.
Jordan Eberle scored the Oilers' lone goal of the night -- his 33rd of the season and 74th point to remain at a point-per-game pace.
The appropriately-named Dwight King helped put Los Angeles up 1-0, 52 seconds into the game. On the Kings' first shot, the rookie spun from the corner and slid the puck along the ice toward the net. Anze Kopitar, parked at the doorstep, redirected it en route and through Nikolai Khabibulin's wickets to secure the icebreaker.
17 seconds later, the Oilers went to the contest's first power-play when ex-Oiler Matt Greene was charged with a hooking minor. The home side kept up their end of the bang-bang bargain, tying the score just 25 seconds into the man-advantage. Jordan Eberle hook a Jeff Petry pass along the half wall, took a quick step to the middle and rifled a shot short side and past a stunned Jonathan Quick.
The Oilers repaid the power-play favour at 6:22, as Sam Gagner was sent off to serve a hooking minor, putting Los Angeles' 15.4-percent 5-on-4 success rate to work. The home side held serve, not giving their counterpart a sniff as the Kings' PP passed without a shot on goal.
The penalty box doors continued to get a workout, as the Oilers' 0-for-1 advantage took to the ice once more when Anze Kopitar was called for tripping at 10:05. 43 seconds in, a goal was scored; but it was by the Kings, shorthanded.
Willie Mitchell rimmed the puck hard around the glass, eluding Petry who was stationed at the right point. Mike Richards took advantage and burst in alone on a breakaway, dekeing left to right and tucking the puck under the bar and behind Khabibulin on his team's seventh shot.
Ryan Jones was assessed a roughing minor at 18:25.
With 20 minutes in the books, Los Angeles held a 2-1 lead on the scoreboard and 9-2 in shots. The Oilers hadn't recorded a shot since Eberle's goal, a span of 18:26 to close the opening period.
It's not a record, however, as the orange and blue have been held shotless four times in the team's history.
The Oilers successfully killed Jones' minor and doubled their shot total all within a minute to start the period.
The momentum gained was shortlived, mind you. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was charged with hooking at 5:01, putting the Oilers down a man for a third time. This time, the visitors made good. The Kings pinned the Oilers in their own end throughout the advantage, eventually scoring with only 17 seconds remaining in the penalty. Drew Doughty's long-range point shot eluded Khabibulin, setting the score at 3-1.
At the period's nine-minute mark, it was announced that defenceman Ladislav Smid had left the game and would not return due to a neck injury.
With 8:45 on the clock, Justin Williams was charged with goaltender interference. Shortly into the power-play, Petry was punched with a Kings clearing attempt, taking the puck off the face; medical attention from Head Athletic Therapist T.D. Forss was required as the young blueliner left the game.
Sadly, it was the only damage done as the Oilers couldn't bury a goal.
Making matters worse, the Oilers kept shooting themselves in the foot. Andy Sutton was assessed a boarding minor when he crunched Dustin Brown from behind, causing the Kings captain to fold, face-first in the corner to Khabibulin's right. That, too, was killed but precious minutes elapsed in the Oilers' comeback bid.
With under a minute to play in the period, the home side's attack was able to generate a quality scoring chance on the back of sustained pressure. Ales Hemsky, Nick Schultz and Nugent-Hopkins orchestrated an opportunity as the rookie was spotted alone in the slot, but Quick came up with a dazzling glove save to keep his team up by two.
Through 40 minutes, the Kings continued to lead 3-1 and were up with a 17-10 advantage in shots.
Hemsky picked up a hooking minor at 1:22, putting the Kings on their fifth power-play of the night. Without much of consequence directed on goal, the Oilers killed it off.
With 12:15 to play and with the Kings up 24-10 in shots, the visitors extended to a 4-1 lead. Matt Greene bulleted a point shot that Khabibulin kicked out with his right pad, but the rebound -- as Sutton was unable to tie it up his man -- was tucked home by Alec Martinez at the doorstep.
WIth under four minutes to play, emotions boiled over as Smyth and Darcy Hordichuk engaged Los Angeles' Brad Richardson at centre. Gloves and sticks littered the ice, while No. 94 was assessed a minor for slashing and another for roughing. Hordichuk, meanwhile was charged with a 10-minute misconduct while Richardson only picked up two minutes for slashing.
The rest of the period elapsed without incident as the Kings won 4-1.
-- Ryan Dittrick, edmontonoilers.com - Follow me on Twitter | @ryandittrick