EDMONTON — Cam Talbot made 34 saves as the Edmonton Oilers officially qualified for the playoffs for the first time since the 2005-2006 season with a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.
Connor McDavid and Eric Gryba scored for the Oilers (42-25-9), who have won seven of their last eight games.
Jarome Iginla replied for the Kings (35-33-7), who have lost four of their last five and whose playoff hopes are hanging on by a thread.
The Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks both also officially punched their tickets through to post-season play with Edmonton’s win.
The Oilers looked to have scored just 49 seconds in on an Oscar Klefbom backhander, but the goal was called back on goaltender interference.
McDavid’s pass hit the stick of defender Derek Forbort and deflected past Kings goalie Jonathan Quick as the Oilers made up for that decision with five minutes left in the opening frame. It was McDavid’s 27th goal of the season and league-leading 89th point, extending point streaks for himself and Leon Draisaitl to eight games apiece.
The Kings responded with three minutes remaining in the first as Iginla picked off a soft attempt to advance the puck by Edmonton goalie Cam Talbot and beat him high to the glove side.
Edmonton regained the lead seven minutes into the second period as a Gryba point shot caromed off a pair of Kings players before inching past Quick and into the net.
The Oilers what looked like another sure goal by Zack Kassian called back because the whistle had gone due to an upcoming penalty to the Kings.
The King return to the ice on Wednesday with a trip to Calgary to face the Flames, while the Oilers next host the San Jose Sharks on Thursday.
Notes: It was the fourth of five meetings this season between the two teams, with the Oilers taking the last two. They meet again in Los Angeles on April 4… Among the healthy scratches for the Kings were Marian Gaborik and Andy Andreoff… Oilers defenceman Matt Benning missed the game after suffering an injury on Saturday, but did take the morning skate.