EDMONTON, Alberta (AP)—Ryan Smyth’s knee looked just fine.
Three nights earlier in Colorado, it looked as though Smyth might be gone for a while when he was helped off ice after a knee-on-knee hit with Avalanche defenseman John-Michael Liles.
Smyth came away with only a charlie horse, protected by a knee brace he’s worn since Rick Tocchet hit him eight years ago.
“I’m having a little luck here and there,” Smyth said. “The guy upstairs is watching over me I guess. Sometimes when you hover around the net good things happen and they have been going in for me right now.”
“That’s probably the first time in my whole career that it has taken me this long into a season to get my first goal,” Bergeron said. “You almost wonder if you are ever going to get another one. But finally I got it out of the way. Hopefully they are going to keep going in.”
The Oilers improved to 7-2 at home. Smyth’s dirty goals in front provided the difference in this one.
“One was an inch over and the other was off his skate,” said Oilers coach Craig MacTavish, who earned his 200th victory. “Some things in this life are beyond explanation. How he continues to be as productive as he is, that’s a testament to his willingness and his biggest aspect, his persistence. He’ll go in there and you can’t get him out of there.”
St. Louis fell to 1-6-1 on the road, with three games left on a five-game trip.
“We are all fighting the puck right now,” coach Mike Kitchen said. “We’re squeezing sticks and not getting any breaks and that is why we are spending most of the game in the penalty box. We become very undisciplined. When we run into a little adversity it seems to really be affecting our confidence right now.”
Edmonton set the tone just over 2 minutes in when Pisani got to the puck just before diving St. Louis goalie Manny Legace could get his glove on it. Petr Sykora picked the puck up behind the net and fed it to Smyth who scored his 13th goal.
Just over 6 minutes later, Reasoner wristed a shot over a sprawling Legace.
Smyth made it 3-0 with his second of the period. Bergeron fired a shot from the top of the circle that Legace had trouble seeing because Smyth tumbled through the crease in front of him and deflected the puck in.
Just over a minute into the second period, Joffrey Lupul took a pass at the side of the net and calmly slid a power-play goal past Legace, who was then replaced by Jason Bacashihua.
St. Louis cut the deficit to 4-1 five minutes later. Matt Greene lost the puck on a cross-ice passing attempt, and Tkachuk went in alone. He deked Oilers goalie Dwayne Roloson and scored his fifth of the season.
The Oilers’ power play clicked again halfway through the second as Bergeron scored. He fired another a hard shot from the top of the circle past Bacashihua to make it 5-1.
St. Louis scored again just 17 seconds into the third when Johnson’s wrist shot seemed to catch Roloson by surprise.
But any comeback hopes were dashed when the Oilers scored their fourth power-play goal.
Blues assistant captain Doug Weight played in his 1,000th NHL game on Thursday night. Weight played 588 games with the Oilers. … Smyth played despite sustaining a knee injury Monday in Colorado. … Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish earned his 200th NHL victory. In six seasons, MacTavish is 200-168-61 — second on the Oilers’ career wins list behind Glen Sather.