The move paid off big time.
Smyth had two goals and two assists, Hemsky added a goal and three assists and Horcoff a goal and two assists to help the Oilers snap a two game losing skid with a 4-3 victory over the Kings on Saturday night.
"They were a handful all night," MacTavish said. "We needed a line to step up and they certainly did that for us. We had to make a change and this one made the most sense. They've been hit and miss at times but hopefully they can keep it up together from here."
Smyth was glad the reunion worked out.
"We've had some chemistry the last couple of years and [MacTavish] put us back together," he said. "He wanted us to lead by example and we did that tonight."
In a rare start, backup goalie Jussi Markkanen stopped 32 shots for the Oilers.
"I've been saying for the last couple days that the team had to step up and have a game for Jussi," MacTavish said. "It was just the opposite. Jussi had a game for us."
Markkanen says he was comfortable, except for the second period when the Kings peppered him with 16 shots.
"All I wanted was to make it to the locker room after that," he said. "I was pretty tired. But overall I felt pretty good out there. I've been feeling good the last couple weeks. I was pretty confident going in."
Trailing 3-2, the Oilers tied the score at 1:07 of the third as Smyth took a shot that hit Burke up high and Horcoff knocked in the rebound. Edmonton got the game-winner at 7:58 when Steve Staios' shot from the point bounced off Burke and then caromed off a charging Smyth and into the goal.
"We let them take the game to us and it looked like we were only hoping to win," Kings coach Marc Crawford said. "We weren't prepared to give the commitment that we needed to have. If you want to win in this league you have to give much more effort than we did in the third.
"It's disappointing because we did have it in the second. We had the momentum and the lead and then it almost seemed like we were saying let's see if our goalie can win it. You're not going to win many games with that type of attitude."
The Oilers got to Burke just 2:48 into the first period as Horcoff passed the puck back to a trailing Smyth, who picked the corner for his 24th of the season.
Los Angeles tied the score as Cammalleri's point shot with just 28 seconds left in the period eluded a screened Markkanen.
The Oilers reclaimed the advantage just 49 seconds into the second when Smyth made a no-look pass from behind the net to Horcoff, who tipped it to a waiting Hemsky to go up 2-1.
Los Angeles tied it again at 11:05 on the power play as Lubomir's initial shot hit a post, was kept out by defenseman Matt Greene, then picked up by O'Sullivan, who lifted it up.
The Kings then took the lead at 13:17 when Greene gave up the puck to Willsie at the Los Angeles blueline. The Kings came in on a 3-on-1 with Willsie shooting it into corner, glove-side, on Markkanen.
Los Angeles outshot Edmonton 35-31, including 16-5 in the second.
The Kings wrap up their three-game trip at Calgary on Tuesday. Edmonton concludes a five game homestand Wednesday against Columbus.
Both teams were playing in back-to-back games and had better records in their second games this season. The Kings are 2-5-2 in the openers, and dropped to 4-5-0 in the second games. Edmonton is 1-6-2 in the first game, and improved to 3-5-1 in the back end. ... Oilers D Staios returned to the lineup after missing several games with a knee injury. ... Burke made his third start in goal for the Kings after being claimed off waivers earlier in the month. He got his first win on Friday in Vancouver after leaving due to dehydration early in the third period in his first start with the Kings on Jan. 20.