EDMONTON - They were a pair of trademark goals, the type the Edmonton Oilers have been sorely lacking since his departure.
Ryan Smyth was credited with two of the Los Angeles Kings’ markers on Wednesday in a 3-1 victory over the Oilers at Rexall Place. Both came on the power play on tip-ins in front.
“He does a great job on the power play,” said Kings defenceman Drew Doughty. “Both of those goals, he didn’t let the goalie see them. Whether he tipped them or not, it doesn’t really matter, the goals were scored mostly because of him. If the goalie is able to see that puck it’s never going to go in.”
Smyth, who was cheered when shown on the big screen during the national anthems and then applauded again when announced as the game’s first star, has scored four goals in 18 games against the Oilers since being shipped out of town at the trade deadline four years ago.
He scored the Kings’ opening goal in the second period, getting a stick on Doughty’s shot from the point. The goal came just 24 seconds after the Oilers took the lead on a Magnus Paajarvi tally.
Smyth added a second later in the period, again credited with getting a stick on Doughty’s blast from the top of the face-off circle.
“We always joke with him about how weak his shot is,” said Doughty. “But he does a great job in front of the net and along the boards. He’s a big part of this team and without him, it would be difficult to get that power play going.”
The two goals gave Smyth a team-leading 21 on the season. He finished with 22 last year for the Kings.
“It’s nice to contribute on the power play,” Smyth said. “Our power play has been lacking of late. It’s something that can win or lose you hockey games and tonight we were able to capitalize on two of them.
“I didn’t touch the second one. I don’t even think I got the first one. I just try to cause them.”