Oilers 4, Kings 3, SO

While Jonathan Quick gave up three goals on Edmonton’s first 14

shots, the Los Angeles Kings couldn’t score until their 46th shot

on Oilers rookie Devan Dubnyk. After Quick’s teammates rallied to

force a shootout, their goalie couldn’t make another save.

Although the playoff-bound Kings probably should be worried

about their goaltending, the NHL-worst Oilers have ample reason to

feel good about their future in net.

Dubnyk made 52 saves and denied the Kings’ last two shootout

attempts, leading the Oilers past Los Angeles 4-3 Saturday in a

victory that seriously hurt the Kings’ hopes of finishing fifth in

the Western Conference.

Tom Gilbert had a short-handed goal and two assists for the

Oilers, who have won three straight near the close of their worst

season since 1994. Edmonton blew a three-goal lead in the third

period, but Ryan Potulny and Shawn Horcoff scored on the Oilers’

only two shootout attempts.

Count veteran Oilers coach Pat Quinn among those who aren’t sure

about the Kings’ fitness for their first postseason run since 2002.

Los Angeles is in a 3-3-3 skid heading into Sunday’s season finale

at Colorado, losing three times during a franchise-record four

straight shootouts.

“The Kings have some talent and grit, but the goals we had were

easy,” Quinn said. “So if they keep that as a standard, then they

won’t go far in the playoffs. They have great forwards that play

well, and (Drew) Doughty and (Jack) Johnson are very talented on

the defensive side, so once they have solid goaltending, they will

always have a chance to win.”

Quick began the season impressively while setting the franchise

record for victories, but after an exhausting winter that included

a trip to the Vancouver Olympics with the U.S. team and the birth

of his first child, he has failed in eight straight tries at his

40th victory.

He made just 13 saves against Edmonton in his club-record 72nd

appearance of the season. The Staples Center crowd booed its team

when Gilbert scored his fifth goal of the season early in the third

period on a stoppable shot that somehow eluded Quick.

“It doesn’t bother me,” Quick said of his 0-3-3 record while

being yanked twice in eight games since March 22. “There’s no

reason it should. As a team, and me personally, we’ve won plenty of

games to be confident that we’re going to win more, so it doesn’t

affect me at all.”

Mike Comrie scored two early goals and the Oilers spoiled the

Kings’ home finale, making the most of their meager scoring chances

in front of Dubnyk’s fourth career victory. With just its second

win in 23 road games, Edmonton snapped a 10-game winless streak on

the road since Feb. 11, when the Oilers beat the Kings in another

shootout.

“The guys were really battling out there for me today, and

that’s how I was able to take away some of those 50-50 pucks,”

said Dubnyk, who played in 13 games before getting his first NHL

victory last month. “It’s never an easy last game of the season,

especially when we’re not in the playoffs, but there are jobs up

for grabs, and no one wants to end on a sour note.”

Michal Handzus scored the tying goal with 2:34 left in

regulation and connected again in the shootout for the Kings, who

took a season-high 55 shots, although precious few of them seemed

to be clear scoring chances.

Captain Dustin Brown and Jarret Stoll also scored third-period

goals for the Kings, who erased a 3-0 deficit in the final 13:21 on

the 28th anniversary of the “Miracle on Manchester” – the Kings’

improbable rally from a 5-0 third-period deficit against Edmonton

in the 1982 playoffs.

The Kings could have finished in fifth place in the Western

Conference by winning their final two games, but this loss to the

NHL’s worst team opened the door for Detroit to clinch the No. 5

spot with a victory at Chicago on Sunday. Los Angeles could slip to

seventh behind Nashville.

“These are important games right now, and to not get two points

today is a real disappointment,” Kings defenseman Sean O’Donnell

said. “I think we need to realize you cannot just turn it on come

Wednesday or Thursday next week. It’s hard to poke too many holes

when shots are like that, but we still need to find a way to get

those two points.”

Brown ended Dubnyk’s bid for his first career shutout with an

easy rebound goal, and Stoll fired a shot over Dubnyk’s glove for

his 15th goal 5 1/2 minutes later.

After Los Angeles took two penalties and killed off the ensuing

two-man disadvantage, Rob Scuderi’s shot from the point hit

Edmonton’s Jason Strudwick and fell to Handzus. His blind backhand

shot slipped underneath Dubnyk for his 20th goal on the Kings’ 52nd

shot, matching their season high.

NOTES: Gilbert has three goals in nine games after scoring just

two in his first 72. … Edmonton can match the 1993-94 club’s 64

points with a win at Anaheim on Sunday, though the 1994 club didn’t

have the benefit of shootouts and points from overtime losses. …

C Jeff Halpern returned to the Kings’ lineup after missing three

games because of an upper-body injury.