EDMONTON, ALBERTA – The Los Angeles Kings needed to shed some rust heading into the playoffs and the Edmonton Oilers proved to be a perfect solution.
Marian Gaborik had two goals and an assist and Martin Jones made just 17 saves for his fourth shutout of the season as the Kings snapped a three-game losing skid with a 3-0 victory over the Oilers on Thursday night.
“After coming off a bad start (Wednesday) night we talked about having to be ready to play from the start and we did,” Gaborik said.
“We got up 1-0 quickly and that for sure helped us. I thought we controlled the game all 60 minutes.”
Anze Kopitar also scored for the Kings, who had won just once in their previous five games.
Los Angeles has already clinched third in the Pacific Division and will play the second-place San Jose Sharks in the first round of the playoffs.
The Oilers have lost two in a row and have now been shut out 10 times this season — including seven times at home.
“Tonight was a really disappointing effort on all fronts except for goaltending,” Oilers forward Taylor Hall said.
The loss dropped Edmonton into 29th place in the NHL, a point back of Florida, which beat Toronto earlier in the night.
Rangers 2, Sabres 1
In New York, Rick Nash scored the winning goal with 1:42 left, on the Rangers’ third shot of the third period, and they clinched home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs with a victory over NHL-worst Buffalo.
Lightning 4, Flyers 2
In Tampa, Richard Panik, Eric Brewer and Steven Stamkos had third-period goals to help the Lightning beat Philadelphia.
Islanders 2, Canadiens 0
In Montreal, Evgeni Nabokov made 19 saves for his fourth shutout this season, and Ryan Strome and Brock Nelson scored power-play goals late in the second period as New York topped the Canadiens.
Capitals 5, Hurricanes 2
In Raleigh, North Carolina, Troy Brouwer scored two goals and Washington routed the Hurricanes.
Panthers 4, Maple Leafs 2
In Sunrise, Florida, Nick Bjugstad had two goals and an assist to lift the Panthers over Toronto.
Senators 2, Devils 1 (SO)
In Ottawa, Erik Karlsson scored the winner in the shootout to send the Senators to a victory over New Jersey.
Predators 2, Coyotes 0
In Nashville, Pekka Rinne made 29 saves to lead the Predators over Phoenix and damage the Coyotes’ slim playoff hopes.
Wild 4, Blues 2
In St. Paul, Minnesota, Kyle Brodziak scored two goals and John Curry made 43 saves in his Wild debut to lead Minnesota over the struggling St. Louis.
Jets 2, Bruins 1 (SO)
In Winnipeg, Bryan Little scored in the shootout to give the Jets a victory over Boston in their last home game of the season.
Avalanche 4, Canucks 2
In Vancouver, defenseman Tyson Barrie scored the go-ahead goal in the third period as Colorado defeated the Canucks.