Oilers visit the Staples Center to take on Los Angeles
LINEUP UPDATES: Sam Gagner will not play tonight. He has been held out of the lineup for precautionary reasons due to a mild concussion... Moving into the forward ranks due to Gagner's injury is Jason Strudwick. He will play on the fourth line with Liam Reddox and Zack Stortini... Marc Pouliot moves up to the second line with Andrew Cogiano and Rob Schremp... Mathieu Garon starts in goal.
EDMONTON OILERS (11-11-2) at
LOS ANGELES KINGS (10-11-3)
Start Time: 8:38 p.m. MST
Television: Rogers Sportsnet West (HD)
Radio: 630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com.
Today's Game Notes
|Edmonton's Robert Nilsson skates up ice as former Oiler Matt Greene looks on.
(Photo by Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club)
by Marc Ciampa | edmontonoilers.com
|THE ESSENTIALS FOR TONIGHT
The Edmonton Oilers continue their string of back-to-back games on the road when they open a California version tonight against the Los Angeles Kings. Edmonton visits San Jose tomorrow night.
Each of the last 10 OIlers road games has been either the first or second game of a doubleheader. Edmonton's record during that stretch is six wins and four losses. It all comes to an end after this weekend as the Oilers will only play three road games in their next 15. They also won't leave the country again until January 15 against Washington.
Overall, the Oilers have won three and lost three in their last six as they have bounced around the .500 mark. If the club is looking to make a move, the Los Angeles Kings are a team that they would like to beat.
The Kings have 23 points currently and are tied for 13th place in the Western Conference - five points back of eighth-place Nashville. Edmonton is in 11th spot with one more point than the Kings at 24.
Los Angeles is coming off back-to-back wins but haven't played since a 5-2 win over Chicago on November 29.
This is the second meeting of the season between the two clubs. The Kings won at Rexall Place by a score of 2-1 on November 26.
Just The Facts...
OILERS TO WATCH: Ales Hemsky
extended his scoring streak to six games with a goal and an assist against Dallas on Wednesday. He has three goals and nine points during that stretch. Hemsky has points (8-12-20) in 13 of the last 16 games (Oct. 30-Dec. 3) and points (8-14-22) in 15 of the last 19 games (Oct. 23-Dec. 3)... Sheldon Souray
is tied with Hemsky for the team lead in goals with eight. Souray is second on the team with 20 points... Rob Schremp had an assist and was +1 in his season debut for the Oilers Wednesday... Lubomir Visnovsky makes his first visit to the Staples Center since being dealt to Edmonton from Los Angeles in the summer. Visnovsky ranks fourth on the OIlers in scoring with 14.
KINGS TO WATCH:
In four career games against the Oilers. Kings goaltender Jason LaBarbera has a record of 4-0-0 with a sparkling 1.00 goals-against average... Alexander Frolov has goals in three straight and five of the last six games. The three straight markers ties a career high. Frolov leads the team overall with 10 goals... Patrick O’Sullivan has six points in the last seven games, including four goals. He is a +5 during that span... Kings 2008 draft pick Drew Doughty leads all NHL rookies as well as the Kings with 23:21 average time-on-ice. He has played at least 20 minutes in 21 of 24 games this season. His season-high was 29:04 Nov. 22 vs. Colorado.
Edmonton – Sam Gagner
(concussion) is out. Steve MacIntyre
(orbital bone) is out; Robert Nilsson (upper body) is out; Fernando Pisani (broken ankle) is out; Los Angeles – Jack Johnson (shoulder) is out. Denis Gauthier (foot) is questionable.
Tonight’s game marks the eighth time this season that the Oilers have opened a set of back-to-back games. They are 4-3-0 in the first seven... Edmonton leads the all-time series against the Kings with a record of 80-56-30-1 and has outscored Los Angeles 703-614... The Oilers are 37-30-15-1 (332-317) in 83 road games.
Skills Competition Coming January 4th
- The Edmonton Oilers Skills Competition Powered by McDonald’s returns to Rexall Place Sunday January 4th at 1:00 pm. ...more
The Other Side - From LAKings.com
- Kings Notebook (Dec. 4) - Denis Gauthier completed his first practice since taking a shot off his right foot on Saturday and declared himself "available" for tomorrow's game vs. Edmonton..that note and more in today's Kings Notebook. ...more
- Tom Preissing Blog Returns - In his fifth entry, Tom Preissing talks about turning 30, being a role model and the last two tough Kings games. ...more
- Young D continues to develop - Kings defensive prospects Thomas Hickey and Colten Teubert have been invited to attend Canada’s National Junior Team selection camp from December 11-14, further proof of the organization's young talent on the blueline. ...more
Odds and Ends
- My Five with Steve MacIntyre - Not sure which province Steve MacIntyre calls home? Well, the answer is fairly obvious once you read his Top 5 in four categories, including athletes and North American cities. ...more
- Ask an Oiler: Steve Staios answers your questions - Steve Staios recently took the time to answer questions from Oilers fans in this most recent edition of Ask an Oiler. Follow the link or click the play button above to watch the video. ...more
From the Wire (AP)
The last time the Los Angles Kings faced the Edmonton Oilers, Kings goaltender Jason LaBarbera made his first start in 25 days and responded with his first win in more than a month.
Given LaBarbera's success against the Oilers, the Kings could look to him again Friday at home versus Edmonton.
LaBarbera has a 4-6-1 record and is 1-3-1 in the past six starts. Against the Oilers, however, the he is 4-0-0 with a 1.00 goals-against average and made 23 saves against them in a 2-1 victory Nov. 26.
Also, the Kings goalie has split time with Erik Ersberg in the last four games. Ersberg suffered a 4-2 defeat Tuesday at Phoenix, and it would be LaBarbera's turn if Los Angeles continues the rotation.
LaBarbera came into this season as the Kings starter with Ersberg as the backup, but the roles were reversed by last month as LaBarbera got off to a slow start. Ersberg, though, has gone 1-2-1 in his last four starts with a 3.36 GAA and couldn't protect a pair of one-goal leads in Tuesday's defeat.
The Kings, who are 2-3-1 over their last six, also blew an early lead in a 3-1 loss to Toronto the night before, and lost an early one-goal lead Saturday to Chicago before rallying for a 5-2 win.
"Two games in a row we've blown a one-goal lead in the third," captain Dustin Brown said. "We fell asleep."
Alexander Frolov scored for the fifth time in the last six games, but was benched during the third period for a defensive lapse that led to the game-tying goal. Frolov, who has a three-game goal-scoring streak and a team-high 10 goals, has not recorded a point in his last four games against Edmonton.
The Oilers (11-11-2) have also struggled of late, going 3-5-1 in their last nine. Like the Kings, they turned to a former starting goalie for the first time in weeks Wednesday against Dallas.
Mathieu Garon, making his first start since being pulled in a 5-4 defeat at Pittsburgh on Nov. 6, stopped 23 of 25 shots in a 5-2 win.
"It was good to come back," Garon said. "It's been a while since I played and since I got a start. I worked really hard in the last two or three weeks to be ready for that game."
Garon started five of Edmonton's first seven games and won his first three. He then lost his next four decisions and was pulled after allowing five goals in 33:03 at Pittsburgh. The slump cost him as both Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers and Dwayne Roloson moved ahead of him on the depth chart.
Ales Hemsky had a goal and an assist in Wednesday's game, extending his points streak to six games. Hemsky, the team's leader with 26 points, has six goals and 10 assists in his last 10 meetings with Los Angeles.
The Kings are 4-1-1 in their last six game versus the Oilers and 2-0-2 in the last four at the Staples Center.