EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) - The Edmonton Oilers own the NHL's least-effective penalty-killing unit.
You never would have known it when they repeatedly shut down the New York Islanders' power play.
Dustin Penner had a short-handed goal and an assist for the Oilers, who broke a seven-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory over the Islanders on Thursday night.
Edmonton killed all seven New York power plays, including a late 5-on-3 advantage when the Islanders pressed for the tying goal.
``I think the last four or five games we have been getting better on our penalty kill,' Oilers coach Tom Renney said. ``Tonight was kind of the capper. It won us the hockey game.'
Overall, however, Renney wasn't certain the Oilers deserved to win.
``I'm not sure we were anywhere near what we needed to be to beat this hockey team,' he said. ``We have to be better than we were.'
Gilbert Brule also scored for the Oilers (13-19-7), who have two wins in 11 games and were in the midst of their worst skid since a 13-game slide from Dec. 31 to Jan. 30 of last season. Devan Dubnyk stopped 30 shots.
``I just want them to feel they are going to get good goaltending from me every game I get in there,' Dubnyk said. ``My goal is to give them a good effort every single game with a chance to win every single game.'
Edmonton scored its goals in the first 5:17 on only three shots against goalie Nathan Lawson, who was pulled after the second tally. Kevin Poulin relieved and went the rest of the way in his NHL debut. He stopped all 19 shots he faced.
``I was pretty comfortable on the ice,' Poulin said. ``My defensemen did a good job of clearing the front of the net and letting me see the puck.
``In a perfect world we would have won 3-2, but I'm still excited about getting a chance to play in my first career game. I'm pretty happy.'
Blake Comeau had the lone goal for the Islanders (12-20-6), who lost for the first time in four games and fell three points behind the Oilers for 28th place in the NHL standings.
Edmonton is in last place in the Western Conference. New York leads only New Jersey in the East.
``We played 40 minutes,' Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. ``I'll take responsibility for that. The first period, we didn't do anything at all.'
Dubnyk was tested early as Michael Grabner had a breakaway less than two minutes in.
Edmonton took a 1-0 lead 3:22 into the first. Andrew Cogliano's shot went wide but bounced off the boards back in front to Brule, who slipped the puck through the Lawson's legs.
Penner put Edmonton ahead 2-0 two minutes later. He beat two defenders for a partial breakaway during New York's power play and scored with a backhander. That chased Lawson from the net.
Comeau put the Islanders on the board with eight minutes remaining in the second. Rob Schremp fed a pass from behind the net to Comeau, who beat Dubnyk with a quick shot to make it 2-1.
Edmonton caught a break midway through the third as the Islanders had a goal disallowed after the referee blew his whistle.
New York had a huge opportunity with a lengthy two-man power play with five minutes left in the game, but Dubnyk and Edmonton's penalty killers preserved the victory.
NOTES: It was the only meeting of the season between the teams, who hadn't faced each other since Nov. 2, 2009, when the Islanders won 3-1 at home. ... Oilers rookie RW Jordan Eberle, already expected to be out two-to-three weeks because of an ankle injury, underwent appendectomy on Wednesday night. ... Islanders C Frans Nielsen sat out because of a groin injury. ... Schremp played his first game against the Oilers after being waived by the team before last season. ... New York is 8-10-3 under coach Jack Capuano, who replaced the fired Scott Gordon in November. ... Edmonton D Jim Vandermeer left the game because of an ankle injury and didn't return.
The Associated Press News Service
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