When Tony Granato ended his long goal-scoring drought Tuesday night against Winnipeg, it didn't mean as much to him as it ordinarily would have.
For him, winning is the thing. And the Kings only tied the Jets.
Saturday night, Granato found individual satisfaction as well as collective success when he scored two goals and had an assist in the Kings' 6-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers at the Forum before a sellout crowd of 16,005.
The victory helped the Kings (12-4-2) stay in a first-place tie in the Smythe Division with Calgary. The Kings have won eight consecutive games at home since losing to Detroit on Oct. 8. Unbeaten in the last seven games (6-0-1), the Kings haven't lost since Oct. 29 at Boston.
The Oilers hadn't lost in seven games, going 5-0-2 before Saturday night.
For the Kings, the heroes were many: Jari Kurri scored twice, recording his 14th and 15th goals of season.
Rookie goaltender Robb Stauber, who hasn't lost in the exhibition or regular season, is benefiting from his workload, playing every three games. He is 5-0-1.
"We're thinking we should win," Stauber said. "That's a sign of a good team, that we expect to win. We're expecting big things from ourselves."
Stauber got some early support when the Kings scored three goals in the first 12:08. He faced 31 shots and was beaten only once in the first two periods when defenseman Brian Glynn scored at 4:43 of the second, cutting the Kings' lead to 3-1. The Oilers added their second goal when Craig Simpson scored on a power play with 6:38 remaining in the game.
By then, though, the Kings were in control. Granato's second goal of the game and fourth of the season, at 14:33 of the second, had helped secure the victory after a few anxious moments.
Center Corey Millen's breakaway started the play. Millen lost control of the puck and went sprawling over goaltender Ron Tugnutt's leg and fell to the side of the net. Granato and an Oiler defender were at the left crease, and Granato put the rebound past Tugnutt.
The red light went on immediately, signaling a goal, but referee Mark Faucette asked that the play be reviewed by the video goal judge. After several replays and several minutes, the goal stood, giving the Kings a 4-1 lead.
"It shouldn't have been replayed," King Coach Barry Melrose said. "It was ludicrous. I think 17,000 people saw it go in and he (Faucette) didn't."
For Granato, who scored 39 goals last season, it was his first multi-goal performance this season. Just one day ago, after practice, Melrose predicted that Granato would pick up from last season.
"Tony's just got to get back to shooting and going to the net," Melrose said. "He's playing well. He's just not finishing. But that will come."
With Granato and Mike Donnelly picking up on offense, it gives the Kings some much-needed scoring balance. Not only do other teams have to worry about Luc Robitaille-Kurri-Tomas Sandstrom, the Donnelly-Millen-Granato line is capable of striking early and often.
"I wasn't ever pressing before," Granato said. "Because we're winning. If we had just four wins instead of four losses last week, it would have been different for me. I'd be in trouble."
Defenseman Rob Blake's availability was limited when he suffered a bruised right wrist in the first period. Blake, in his own zone, was hit on the wrist when Oiler Josef Beranek launched a slap shot with 5:53 left in the period. Blake immediately went to the bench and had the wrist taped. On his next shift, Blake clearly had problems controlling the puck and didn't play on the next power play. In the second period, Blake looked as if he got hurt again on his only shift when he was checked into the boards by Kelly Buchberger. Forward Marty McSorley moved back to defense to help make up for Blake's absence. . . . Rookie center Robert Lang was sent to the Kings' minor league team at Phoenix after Saturday's game. Lang has played in 10 games, picking up five assists. "Robert has to play a lot," King Coach Barry Melrose said. "He's 21 years old and I've got to get him enough ice time. He's got to have some fun. And it hasn't been fun for him the last month."