Preview: Kings at Oilers
LOS ANGELES KINGS (32-36-11) at
EDMONTON OILERS (37-33-9)
Start Time: 7:08 p.m. MDT
Television: Molson Canadian Oilers Pay Per View (HD)
Radio: 630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com.
Today's Game Notes | Oilers/Kings Head-to-Head | Stats Comparison
|LOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 14: Dwayne Roloson #35 of the Edmonton Oilers stops a shot during a game against the Los Angeles Kings on February 14, 2009 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Wendi Kaminski/NHLI via Getty Images)
Oilers Twitter Lineup Updates:
by Nick Conrad | edmontonoilers.com
|THE ESSENTIALS FOR TONIGHT
The Oilers are up against tall odds to keep their slim playoff hopes alive and their next step is the first of three must-win games.
Edmonton (37-33-9) will face the LA Kings (32-35-11) tonight at Rexall Place in their second-to-last regular season home game and even with a win the Oilers will need some help from the hockey gods to make the playoffs. In addition to the Oilers running the table in the final three games of the season, the Wild must lose one game and the Blues and Predators must both lose two of their last three games for Edmonton to gain the eighth playoff spot.
All three of Edmonton’s playoff competitors are on the docket tonight with Minnesota at Dallas, St. Louis at Phoenix and Chicago at Nashville.
The Oilers will have a tired Kings team to battle as LA lost 4-1 to the Flames last night in Calgary. Before last night’s loss, the Kings had snapped a three-game losing streak with a 6-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes. The Oilers are 2-1-0 against the Kings this season with the last game finishing a 3-2 shootout win in LA on February 14.
Edmonton will finish off the regular season with a back-to-back Battle of Alberta set against the Flames on Friday and Saturday. Friday night’s game will be the Oilers’ last regular season home game on 2008-09.
Just The Facts...
OILERS TO WATCH:
Ales Kotalik has found his stride and has scored three goals in his last five games including one last game vs. Vancouver. He has scored 2-4-6 in six games vs. the Kings...Sam Gagner
is coming off a three-point night last game and has scored two goals in his last two games and six points in his last five games.
KINGS TO WATCH:
Anze Kopitar leads the Kings with 66 points. He’s scored 5-8-13 in 10 games vs. Edmonton…Alexander Frolov leads the Kings with 30 goals…Brian Boyle has three goals in five games since being called up from the AHL on March 27.
Edmonton—Lubomir Visnovsky (shoulder) is out. Ladislav Smid
(fractured hand) is out. Los Angeles—Kyle Quincey (back surgery) is day-to-day.
This season is the seventh time in their NHL history that the Oilers have registered 20-or-more road wins and the first time since 2005-06 when they were 21-13-7…The Edmonton record for most road wins in a season was set in 1983-84 with 26 (26-13-1)…Both of Edmonton’s wins vs. LA have come in shootouts at Los Angeles…Edmonton leads the all-time series with a record of 82-56-30-1 and has outscored Los Angeles 711-620…The Oilers won 5-4 on Dec. 5 and 3-2 on Feb. 14 at the STAPLES Center…Kings rookie Drew Doughty leads all NHL rookies and the Kings with 23:56 average time-on-ice...Kings captain Dustin Brown, who is donating $50 for every hit this season to KABOOM, a LA-area organization that builds playgrounds for kids, was third in the NHL with 272 hits as of Monday, Apr. 6.
The Other Side - news from lakings.com
- Kings State of the Franchise - Dean Lombardi and Luc Robitaille headed a panel that included head coach Terry Murray and other Kings executives, taking questions from Kings fans on the Kings State of the Franchise ...more
- KINGS MADNESS Final - The Kings have played over 3,500 games...Which was your favorite? We are down to two: The "Miracle on Manchester," vs. Luc becoming the Kings All-Time leading goal scorer | Ones we Missed | ...more
From the Fans
Odds and Ends
- This or That? with Tom Gilbert - Defenceman Tom Gilbert has to make quick decisions on the ice, and he displayed those quick-thinking skills in our most-recent Off the Ice interview. From concourse snacks to coastal cities, Tom tackles it all. ...more
- The LINK: Kevin Lowe on HNIC After Hours - Oilers President of Hockey Operations Kevin Lowe spoke to CBC following Saturday night's game on a number of topics. ...more
From the Wire (AP)
The Edmonton Oilers' five-game homestand hasn't gone well, leaving them hoping their games will still mean something when it ends later this week.
The Oilers look for a second straight win and try to boost their slim playoff hopes Tuesday night when they meet the Los Angeles Kings.
Edmonton (37-33-9) seemed poised to make a serious push for the postseason when it opened this homestand on March 29. However, the Oilers lost the first three games before snapping that skid with a 5-3 win over Vancouver on Saturday.
After playing Los Angeles (32-36-11), they host Calgary on Friday before visiting the Flames to end the season the following day. The Oilers are now hoping those games against their arch-rivals will still have a bearing on their fate.
"It just feels good to win a game and to get some smiles around here," Oilers captain Ethan Moreau said Saturday. "We just want those last two games against Calgary to mean something. More for our own psyche than anything else."
Edmonton is three points behind St. Louis and Nashville in the race for the final Western Conference playoff spot.
"It was a big win, for sure," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said after his 300th career win. "It buys us a little time and buys us a little hope and that's all we could ask for going into the game tonight."
The Oilers had five different players score Saturday, with Sam Gagner getting a goal and two assists, but the star was Dwayne Roloson. The goalie made 43 saves, including 22 without allowing a goal in the second period.
Ales Hemsky also had a goal and an assist after he'd failed to score in the Oilers' three losses on the homestand.
All three games this season between Edmonton and Los Angeles have gone down to the wire. The Kings won 2-1 on Nov. 28 before the Oilers responded with two shootout victories.
Oilers left wing Patrick O'Sullivan will face his former team for the first time since he was involved in a three-team deal that send him to Edmonton on March 4. He had 37 points in 62 games with the Kings, and has five in 16 contests with the Oilers.
"It's a weird feeling," O'Sullivan said. "Once (Tuesday) comes and I start thinking about the game, I probably won't feel too worried about it. But it will be weird. I was there for almost three years and a lot of friends on the other team. It's a situation I haven't been through before. So it'll be new.
"At the end of the day, it's a game and there's no friends on the ice and we need a win. So that's what it comes down to."
Wayne Simmonds netted the lone goal for Los Angeles in a 4-1 loss at Calgary on Monday. The Kings have lost four out of their last five games.
"We need to be a lot more excited and hungry as a team," Kings captain Dustin Brown said. "It was disappointing tonight."
The Kings have scored one goal or none in six of their last seven games away from home.