Oilers push Kings to brink of elimination
Edmonton victory aids Flames, Jets, Canucks
Matt Fraser scored a pair of goals and the Edmonton Oilers dealt a big blow to the playoff hopes of the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings with a 4-2 victory on Tuesday.
Benoit Pouliot and Tyler Pitlick also scored for the Oilers (24-43-13), who snapped a three-game skid.
Jake Muzzin and Drew Doughty scored for the Kings (39-26-15), who have lost two straight at a time when they can't afford to let any points escape.
Los Angeles trails Winnipeg by three points and the Calgary Flames by two points with only two games remaining for all three teams in the hunt for the final two playoff spots in the Western Conference.
The Kings loss clinches a playoff spot for the Vancouver Canucks.
After a scoreless first, the Oilers broke the deadlock 2:34 into the second period as Fraser tipped Martin Marincin's shot and then swept his rebound into an open net behind L.A. goalie Martin Jones.
The Kings tied it up on the power play at 5:44 of the second as Anze Kopitar's shot came off the boards right to Muzzin at the side of the net for an easy goal on Edmonton starter Richard Bachman. Doughty picked up his 200th assist on the play.
Pouliot stole a puck from Trevor Lewis and went in alone before beating Jones stick-side to help the Oilers regain the lead midway through the second.
Edmonton went up 3-1 at 5:31 of the third as Pitlick took a bounce off the boards in front and picked the top corner in his return to the lineup after missing 41 games with a spleen injury.
The Kings closed back within one midway at 9:38 of the third as Doughty took a power-play shot from center ice and it trickled through Bachman.
Fraser put the game away for the Oilers with an empty-net goal.
Both teams return to the ice on Thursday as the Kings play a crucial game in Calgary, while the Oilers play their final home game against San Jose.