SUN Hockey Pool

Three-peat!!!

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:28 AM ET

LOS ANGELES -- It was classic Craig MacTavish.

Asked what was required for the Edmonton Oilers to produce their first three-game win streak of the season - having failed on four previous occasions to do so - the head coach said: "Not discuss it."

Questions on the subject were noted but not answered before the game, which apparently was the way to go as the Oilers defeated the Los Angeles Kings 4-3 in a shootout for their third consecutive win.

"Just like old times, in a shootout," said MacTavish after the game. "The team played really well tonight, it was the way that we've played in the last three games and a few games before that.

"We're playing our best hockey right now and it's important that we get some rest and continue it on (tomorrow)."

Sam Gagner scored the only goal in the shootout, while Mathieu Garon stopped all three shots he faced to improve his shootout record to 4-0.

With the three saves, Garon has now stopped 12 of 13 shots he's faced in the shootout this season.

"He was outstanding," said MacTavish. "He makes some saves where as a coach you count it to be in the back of the net.

"I can't think that there's a better goalie in a shootout, his record speaks for itself. He's just so athletic and so quick. His strategy is real solid and he doesn't need many goals from us to win games."

Heading into the game, the Oilers had registered back-to-back wins against the Anaheim Ducks to put themselves in position to win three straight.

On four previous occasions the Oilers rode into games on a two-game winning streak, and on all four previous occasions, they lost.

Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins pay a visit to Rexall Place tomorrow night.

"I think as a team we're really confident when we get into a shootout, especially when Sam goes first and he pretty much scores all the time," said Garon. "It's a huge boost for the goalie, you know if you made a save or two saves you're pretty much going to win the game, so I was feeling pretty good about it."

Last night the Oilers fell behind early as Anze Kopitar opened the scoring when his shot deflected off Joni Pitkanen's stick and ricocheted up over the shoulder of Garon. The Oilers goaltender was making his second-consecutive start after pitching a shutout the night before in Anaheim.

Pitkanen got the goal back for the Oilers in the second period as Raffi Torres spun away from a check along the boards and found the defenceman streaking in from his point position.

Pitkanen took the pass and wired a shot over the shoulder of Kings goaltender Jean-Sebastien Aubin.

Dustin Penner gave the Oilers the lead later on the power play, making the most of a fortunate bounce off the end boards and tipping the puck over the Kings goaltender.

Less than two minutes later, Dustin Brown tied the game on the power play, finding a loose puck in front and banging it past Garon.

Patrick Thoresen then gave the Oilers the lead with just over five minutes left in the second period, re-directing Robert Nilsson's point-shot through the legs of Aubin.

It was Thoresen's first goal with the Oilers this season after spending all of the year in Springfield prior to getting called up Sunday. The Oslo, Norway, native plucked the puck out of mid-air in front of the net, leaving the Kings goaltender with little chance on the play.

In the third Nilsson should have put the Oilers up by a pair, but fired a shot wide while staring at a wide-open net on the power play on a set up by Sam Gagner.

The miss proved costly as Ladislav Nagy tied the game late, tipping a puck past Garon who was trying to contend with Rob Blake in his crease. After a review to see whether the puck was knocked it by the glove of the Kings, defenceman, the goal was awarded.


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