GAME STORY presented by CENOVUS

Under the Scope: Oilers vs. Kings

An in-depth look at Tuesday's 2-0 loss to Los Angeles

Wednesday, 30.03.2011 / 1:05 AM / Cenovus Game Story
By Karmela Arocena  - edmontonoilers.com
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Under the Scope: Oilers vs. Kings



The talk before tonight's game revolved around Rod Phillips' retirement, as well as the return of Dustin Penner to Edmonton after being traded to the Los Angeles Kings.  What might have been lost in the commotion was the fact that the Oilers are riding a nine-game losing streak after failing to win a game since March 5 in Colorado.  Though coming close to breaking that streak against the Flames on Saturday night, the Oilers came into Tuesday night looking to record a win against a Los Angeles Kings team that has won three straight.

The first period started off rough for the home team.  Penalty troubles were a problem in the first half for the Oilers as they took three straight minor penalties, the first coming just 12 seconds into the game.  This resulted in the Kings being able to get momentum; by the end of the period Los Angeles was badly outshooting Edmonton 7-18.  Luckily, Khabibulin came up big for the Oilers, and the two teams entered the period with a blank scoreboard.

The Oilers started the second off strong, almost evening the shots in the first five minutes. However, the Los Angeles Kings answered back and scored on their first shot of the period to break the scoreless tie.  After 40 minutes, the Oilers found themselves down 2-0, Dustin Brown having scored both goals.

Not much occured in the third period, until the Oilers managed a flurry in the last half of the period, resulting in many quality chances. Unfortunately, Jonathan Bernier stood tall for the Kings, stopping every shot he faced tonight.  In the end it was a 2-0 loss for the home team, as Edmonton now extends their losing streak to 10-straight games.

Nikolai Khabibulin was back in nets, stopping 31 of the 33 shots he faced while posting a .939 save percentage.  In his return to Edmonton, Dustin Penner was held pointless.



All you need to know and more as we go Under the Scope:


Despite a poorly played first that saw the Oilers get badly outshot, they entered the second unscathed and were hoping to take advantage of that situation in the second.  Even though the Oilers started the period off well, Dustin Brown was able to net the game's first goal to make it 1-0 for the Kings.  That first goal allowed the Kings to take control of the game, and finishing the contest with a 2-0 victory.


52 Edmonton achieved a 52% success rate in the faceoff circle tonight. Of the regular face-off takers, recent call-up Ryan O'Marra had the best luck with the draws, going 10-4 in the faceoff dot with a 71% efficiency rate.
38 For the second consecutive game, the Oilers posted 38 hits, 20 more than the Kings. Theo Peckham recorded the most with seven.
5 Without a goal tonight, the Oilers were only able to score 5 goals. against the Kings this season, being outscored 12-5 in four meetings.
17 Edmonton finished the night off with 17 blocked shots, five more than LA's 12.  Tom Gilbert, who is 8th in the NHL in this category, blocked the most of anyone on the ice tonight with four.


Dustin Brown
G A P +/- Shots
2 0 2 +2 9


Trevor Lewis
G A P +/- Shots
0 2 2 +2 1


Jonathan Bernier
SA SV GA TOI SV%
32 32 0 59:57 1.00



KINGS
Jonathan Bernier
SA SV GA TOI SV%
32 32 0 59:57 1.00

OILERS
Nikolai Khabibulin
SA SV GA TOI SV%
33 31 2 57:28 .939



KINGS
Drew Doughty - D

23:58 - 0P, E rating

OILERS
Tom Gilbert - D

24:27 - 0P, -1 rating


Jordan Eberle found himself with a glorious chance to get the Oilers within one in the third period, but Jonathan Bernier shut the door on the rookie with a glorious save. After Magnus Paajarvi worked along the boards in the Kings' zone to retrieve the puck, he was able to pass the puck through a series of legs to Eberle who was waiting alone in the slot.  Eberle fired a shot, but Bernier absolutely stoned him, keeping the score at 2-0.


Dustin Brown delivered in tonight's game, and his presence was certainly noted.  Brown opened scoring in the game at 5:11 of the second after the Oilers put some pressure onto their opposing foes.  At 14:56, he increased the Kings' lead to two by sliding a Trevor Lewis pass by Khabibulin.  In addition, the Kings forward recorded an amazing nine shots on goal, almost double than anyone else on either team.  His efforts didn't go unnoticed as he was made first star of the night.


It may have taken the Oilers a while to get things going in the game, but when they did Jordan Eberle was the one who showed what needed to be done.  When the home team was pressing to break the shutout, Eberle found himself with many great chances that just couldn't get past Jonathan Bernier.  Despite ending the night without a point, Eberle's hard work was evident in tonight's game.



Tom Gilbert is never one to shy away from playing a physical game.  At 18:35 of the second period, the Oilers blueliner crushed the streaking Kings forward Kyle Clifford into the corner boards of the defensive zone, causing him to stumble onto the ice. Gilbert's hit allowed the Oilers to retrieve the puck, and start the rush the other way.




The Ironmen for the Oilers are without a doubt Tom Gilbert and Andrew Cogliano.  Both of those players have never missed an NHL game.  Gilbert has played 330 straight games after tonight, while Cogliano has played 322.
 



"Obviously we've got a lot of guys in here that need to get their confidence up as far as scoring.  Goal scoring is all about consistency and you've got to be able to do it every night."

- Jordan Eberle on his team's recent struggles with finding the back of the net.




Thursday, March 31 at Minnesota
 6:00pm MDT (SNET-W / 630 CHED)


The Oilers head back on the road with a stop in Minnesota to start a short, two-game road trip.  Catch the Northwest Division match-up Thursday night on Sportsnet at 6:00pm MDT.