LOS ANGELES KINGS (26-34-4) at
EDMONTON OILERS (29-30-5)
7:08 p.m. MST
Rogers Sportsnet West
630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com.
Game Notes | Oilers/Kings Stats Comparison | Player Head-to-Head Statistics
They weren’t easy, but the Edmonton Oilers have won each of the first two games in their current five-game homestand and aim for a third consecutive win tonight against the Los Angeles Kings.
The Oilers rallied from being down 2-0 in the first game of their homestand against Colorado on Sunday and ultimately won 3-2 in regulation.
On Tuesday, the tables were turned on them as the Oilers were up 2-0 on Detroit before the Red Wings took a 3-2 lead in the third period. However, Fernando Pisani scored with 28 seconds left in the third period to tie the game and Robert Nilsson scored the lone shootout goal on either side to lead the Oilers to a 4-3 win.
Los Angeles sits last in the NHL with 56 points and have been out of the race since an eight-game losing streak in December. In recent times, the Kings have won once in their last four games but have not played since February 23.
The Kings have beaten the Oilers twice in regulation and lost once in a shootout this season. This is the fourth and final meeting between the teams.
Just The Facts...
LINEUP UPDATE (11:55 AM):
Joni Pitkanen will play tonight and Mathieu Garon gets his 11th consecutive start.
OILERS TO WATCH: Dustin Penner
has scored twice in three games against L.A. to lead the Oilers in that category… Geoff Sanderson returned to the Oilers’ lineup on Tuesday night in place of captain Ethan Moreau as a result of Moreau’s broken leg. Sanderson made an impact, scoring a goal in his 1100th career NHL game. He has played well when called upon in recent games with a goal and three assists for four points in his last six outings… Robert Nilsson and Andrew Cogliano
each have two-game scoring streaks heading into tonight.
KINGS TO WATCH:
After spending most of the season in the minor leagues, goaltender Dan Cloutier is back with Los Angeles. He has appeared in four games, with a 2-0-0 record, 3.42 goals-against average and .894 save percentage… Anze Kopitar has two goals and five points in three games against Edmonton this season. He is the Kings’ leading scorer with 27 goals and 60 points in 64 games… With 16 goals and 39 points in 64 games, Patrick O’Sullivan is also enjoying a career year. He has three goals and four points in three games against Edmonton.
Edmonton – Ethan Moreau (broken leg) is out. Ladislav Smid
(ankle) is out. Shawn Horcoff
(shoulder) is out. Sheldon Souray
(shoulder) is out. Raffi Torres (knee) is out; Los Angeles – Derek Armstrong (knee) is questionable. Rob Blake (fractured ankle) is questionable. Jason LaBarbera (groin) is doubtful. Ladislav Nagy (neck) is out.
Edmonton’s shootout win on Tuesday night was their 13th of the season – a new NHL record. The previous record was 12, achieved by Dallas in 2005-06. Ironically, it came on the same day the Stars shipped Jussi Jokinen to Tampa Bay as part of a package to acquire Brad Richards. Jokinen had 10 shootout goals to pace Dallas that season... The engine that runs Edmonton’s shootout is clearly Mathieu Garon. The former King is 9-0 in shootouts this season, having stopped 27 of 29 shots in total. Garon was 5-4 in shootouts while with Los Angeles from 2005 to 2007. He stopped 24 of 34 shots.
- Pre-game comments from Staios, Garon & Gilbert: 700K
The Other Side
- LAKings.com in Edmonton - Heidi Androl spoke with Scott Thornton, Marty Reasoner and Mathieu Garon to find out the difference between hockey in Canada and the U.S. 700K
- Chasing a Dream - With the help of Greg Harper, Kings Vision was able to track down a copy of the mini documentary, Chasing a Dream: The Oscar Moller Story. Moller, of course, was a second-round pick of the Kings last season. ...more
- Special L.A. Kings Figurine Commercial - The Los Angeles Kings, in conjunction with FSN West and AM570 KLAC, present the Limited Edition Figurine Pack Presented by Robeks Fruit Smoothies & Healthy Eats... Click here to view a special Kings Figurine Commercial.
From the Fans
Odds and Ends
- Oilers offer up skills predictions - We spoke with a number of Oilers players and head coach Craig MacTavish to find out predictions for who will win the events at Saturday's Edmonton Oilers Skills Competition. | VIDEO | TICKETS | Make your own predictions! | ...more
From the Wire
The Edmonton Oilers have enjoyed a significant advantage at home in February. They'll be hoping for similar success against the Los Angeles Kings, who have struggled as visitors.
The Oilers look to extend their season-high, five-game winning streak at Rexall Place as they continue their five-game homestand against the Kings on Thursday night in their final meeting.
Edmonton (29-30-5) lost its first home game of the month, but has since won five straight games at Rexall Place - its longest streak there since taking six in a row from Oct. 5-Oct. 28, 2006. The Oilers won the first two games on this homestand to improve to 17-14-1 as hosts.
The most recent victory in Edmonton came Tuesday, when the Oilers beat league-leading Detroit 4-3 for their NHL single season-record 13th shootout win. Robert Nilsson scored the lone goal in the extra period, helping Edmonton improve to 13-3 in shootouts.
The mark surpassed the record previously held by Dallas, which went 12-1 in 2005-06.
"It's always nice to have a positive record, but it is all about winning games," said goaltender Mathieu Garon, who made 40 saves before stopping all three shootout attempts he faced. "Those shootout wins have been huge for us because almost half of our wins have come that way."
Much of that success is due to Garon, who is 9-0 this season and 14-4 in career shootout situations.
"In shootouts, he is awesome," said Nilsson, who has four assists in his last five games. "That's what gives us so much confidence in those situations. He stopped three out of three again today. He's one of the best shootout players in the world."
One of Garon's shootout victories this season came in Los Angeles (26-34-4), where he led the Oilers to a 4-3 victory. Garon, though, was also in net for Edmonton's 3-1 home loss on Jan. 15 in the teams' most recent meeting.
Garon, who spent the previous two seasons playing for the Kings, is 2-2-0 with a 2.46 goals-against average in four appearances against his former team. If he gets the starting nod, he looks to help the Oilers avoid consecutive home losses to the Kings for the first time since they lost back-to-back games Oct. 10, 1998-Jan. 5, 1999.
Los Angeles leads the season series 2-0-1, but hasn't won the four-game set since it went 3-0-0 with a tie in 1998-99.
The Kings will open a four-game road trip, but have lost three of their last four away games. Their 12 road wins are tied with Edmonton's for the fewest in the Western Conference.
On Saturday, Los Angeles concluded its three-game homestand with a 1-1-1 record following a 6-5 overtime loss to Chicago. The Kings rallied back from a 5-1 deficit as Michael Cammalleri, Tom Preissing, Patrick O'Sullivan and Anze Kopitar scored goals in the final 11 minutes of regulation before Chicago scored in overtime.
"That was a lot of blood and guts there in the third period. This is as good an overtime loss as you're ever going to see," Kings coach Marc Crawford said. "It was special to see our guys battle the way they did. It's a real character builder for our team."
Cammalleri, Kopitar - the team leader with 27 goals and 60 points - and Alexander Frolov each posted multipoint efforts for Los Angeles, which has lost four of its last six overall.