That's five straight

SCOTT ZERR -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 11:47 AM ET

There aren't many Christmas presents that leave the recipient black and blue, but Ales Hemsky got one last night.

Chris Pronger delivered the gift with a hard shot from the point on the power play, which hit Hemsky's ankle and went into the back of the Los Angeles Kings' net.

Although Kings goalie Mathieu Garon tried to play the role of Grinch, there was no stealing the goal from Hemsky or a fifth-straight comeback win from the Edmonton Oilers.

"I was a little worried. I was trying to stop the puck and put it on my stick," smiled Hemsky, whose effort went to a video replay test but counted as the game winner in a 5-3 decision for the Oil.

"It's tough coming from behind and we have to get off to a better start. We can't do it every time but it's a good feeling. The guys have a lot of confidence and we know we can score goals."

FIRST FULL GAME

Scoring hasn't been a problem. Stopping shots directed at their own net has, but Ty Conklin gave the Oilers the first full game from a goaltender in four starts. It wasn't particularly pretty but 26 saves and a victory was all that mattered.

"The one game we didn't have the effort, we couldn't have overcame anything but a stellar performance out of Ty," said head coach Craig MacTavish. "He gave me a little heart failure with his puck-handling late but that's part of his game. As he gets more ice time and games, those conditions will get better."

Hemsky wasn't alone in sending a sellout crowd of 16,839 home happy for the holidays. Raffi Torres tied it at 3-3 when he grabbed a loose puck just inside the Kings' zone and then swerved past Lubomir Visnovsky before snapping a quick shot behind Garon. It was only Torres's second in the last eight games.

"It was a great individual effort by Raffi that really inspired the bench," said MacTavish.

Torres just figured it was the right time to cue up another comeback.

"We put ourselves as far behind as we could," said Torres, whose team was in peril for much of the night thanks to a sluggish start and surrendering 12 power plays.

Unlike the Kings, however, the Oilers capitalized on three of their dozen man-advantages - the last of which was created when Garon hit Ryan Smyth with a high stick.

There was a possibility of some fireworks right off the start as the Kings sent Sean Avery out to take the night's first faceoff.

He stood just a few short strides from Georges Laraque - who made a rare appearance in the starting lineup - but there wasn't so much as a spark between the two.

MISSED A CHANCE

All Avery had to contend with all night was the boobirds, who were on him every time he touched the puck.

The Oilers missed a chance to take an early lead as the Smyth/Horcoff/Hemsky combination neatly threw the puck around the Kings' zone. But the visitors spoiled the show by zooming back up the ice, where Mattias Norstrom blew the Kings' second shot of the game behind Conklin.

A fancy pass did work for the Oilers later in the first when Marty Reasoner threaded a feed through to Jarret Stoll, who popped his own rebound to tie it 1-1.

Pronger gave the Oilers the lead with a point-shot rocket on a two-man advantage but the Kings responded with a pair before the second period ended.

Mike Cammalleri caught the Oil napping on a long-bomb breakout from Joe Corvo and Craig Conroy, fresh out of sick bay with the flu, then deflected a shot by Tim Gleason past Conklin.

After Hemsky had the game winner, Mike Peca added an empty net power-play goal.


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