LOS ANGELES – Lubomir Visnovsky scored in the 10th round of a shootout after Edmonton blew a two-goal lead in the third period, and the Oilers beat the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 on Thursday night to snap a franchise-record 11-game road losing streak.
Defenceman Denis Grebeshkov scored in the second period, Dustin Penner added a power-play goal in the third, and Jeff Deslauriers made 41 saves.
The Oilers won outside of Rexall Place for the first time since Dec. 11, when they concluded a 5-1 trip with a 5-3 victory against St. Louis. It was only their fourth victory in their last 28 games overall (4-22-2).
Dustin Brown and Ryan Smyth scored for the Kings, who have lost two in a row following a club-record nine-game winning streak. Goalie Jonathan Quick did not play because of flu-like symptoms, so Erik Ersberg got his sixth start of the season and made 21 saves before Shawn Horcoff, Penner and Visnovsky beat him in the tiebreaker. Ersberg is 2-6 lifetime in shootouts, compared to Quick’s 12-4 record.
The Oilers have won their last four games at Staples Center, all by shootouts. The defeat was the Kings’ 100th in games that were decided in overtime or shootouts. They had won nine consecutive games that had gone to a shootout prior to this one.
It almost didn’t get that far. Visnovsky sent Patrick O’Sullivan on a breakaway, but Ersberg robbed him with a glove save with 19.6 seconds left on the clock.
Grebeshkov, who began his NHL career in 2003-04 with Los Angeles, opened the scoring at 13:38 of the second period with his sixth goal. He played the puck off the left boards, backpedaled with it and took a seemingly harmless wrist shot from just inside the blue line that got past Ersberg’s stick while Kings defenceman Matt Greene was checking Zack Stortini near the crease.
Kings forward Anze Kopitar, who had seven goals in his previous seven games, was off for holding O’Sullivan when Penner beat Ersberg to the short side with a wrist shot from the left circle for his team-high 24th goal and a 2-0 lead.
Deslauriers got a huge break about 5 1/2 minutes into the second with the game still scoreless. Kings forward Wayne Simmonds got a perfect feed from Brad Richardson behind the net and had the Oilers’ goalie at his mercy just 15 feet away – only to flip the puck over the crossbar while going for the top right corner.
But Los Angeles got on the board with 8:55 remaining, as Brown backhanded a rebound over Deslauriers after the goalie made the save on Rob Scuderi’s long slap shot through a maze of players.
Smyth, who led the Oilers in goals in seven of his 11 seasons with them, got the equalizer with 4:48 left in regulation. He converted another rebound with Deslauriers on the seat of his pants after the goalie stopped Sean O’Donnell’s one-timer from the right point. It was Smyth’s 19th goal.
NOTES: The Kings outshot Edmonton 36-16 after the first period. … The only other time Ersberg played against the Oilers was Dec. 5, 2008, when they scored three goals on 13 shots against him in the first period to erase a 3-0 deficit and won 5-4 in a shootout at Los Angeles. Jason LaBarbera was charged with the loss. … Kings LW Rich Clune made his NHL debut. He was acquired from Dallas on July 21, 2008 in exchange for RW Lauri Tukonen, whom Los Angeles selected with the 11th overall pick in the 2004 draft.