|EDM||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||2|
|LAK||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||1|
GAME: Edmonton Oilers (32-27-12-4) at Los Angeles Kings (28-23-16-7).
TIME: Monday, 10:30 p.m. EST.
The streaking Edmonton Oilers and slumping Los Angeles Kings resume their respective quests for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference when they meet at Staples Center.
The Oilers beat the San Jose Sharks 5-2 on Sunday for their fourth straight win. The victory moved Edmonton to within one point of eighth-place St. Louis and two back of seventh-place Nashville in the West.
"We're in ninth spot now," said Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish. "We have a great opportunity tomorrow night in L.A. to get that eighth spot."
St. Louis and Nashville are both idle on Monday.
Marc-Andre Bergeron scored two goals for the Oilers, and goalie Jussi Markkanen made 32 saves for his first win since Jan. 26, when he was still with the New York Rangers. Markkanen came to Edmonton in a trade on March 3.
"The hidden jewel of the game was Jussi," said MacTavish, whose team is 20-0-1-2 when leading after the second period. "Since he's arrived, we've been playing great.
"He's so in charge out there, he keeps the team calm. And we just don't seem as worried as we were before we got him."
The Kings lost 4-2 to the NHL-leading Detroit Red Wings on Saturday - their season high-matching third straight defeat. Los Angeles is two points behind St. Louis in the conference standings.
Left wing Luc Robitaille had a goal and an assist for Los Angeles, tying Johnny Bucyk for the most points at his position in NHL history (1,369). Robitaille already has more goals than any other left winger (653) and scored more points in one season than anyone else at the position - 125 in 1992-93, the only season that the Kings reached the Stanley Cup finals.
"It's certainly something that I'll think about when my career is over. But right now, it's all about the team," Robitaille said. "The last three games, we literally beat ourselves with little mistakes. When you get into these kind of games with the playoff mentality, every little play counts. And tonight we made three too many mistakes and they ended up in our net. It's a disappointing loss."
STANDINGS: Oilers - 80 points, 4th place, 13 PB, Northwest Division. Kings - 79 points, 3rd place, 13 PB, Pacific Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Oilers - Ryan Smyth, Raffi Torres and Ethan Moreau, 20 goals; Smyth, 33 assists and 53 points; Jason Smith and Moreau, 96 PIM. Kings - Alexander Frolov, 24 goals; Jozef Stumpel, 29 assists; Robitaille, 50 points; Sean Avery, 238 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 21): Oilers - Power play: 12.5 percent (38 for 305), 29th in NHL. Penalty killing: 80.7 percent (260 for 322), 28th. Kings - Power play: 14.2 percent (47 for 332), 26th. Penalty killing: 80.9 percent (254 for 314), 26th.
GOALTENDERS: Oilers - Ty Conklin (14-12-4, 1 SO, 2.43 GAA); Markkanen (9-13-3, 2, 2.44). Kings - Roman Cechmanek (18-17-6, 5, 2.49); Cristobal Huet (10-12-10, 3, 2.45).
SEASON SERIES: Kings, 2-0.
LAST MEETING: Jan. 31; Kings, 4-3. At Edmonton, Joe Corvo and Jason Holland scored in the final 1:10 of the third period to boost the Kings to the win.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Oilers - 12-15-8-2 on the road; Kings - 15-13-9-1 at home.
|Mar 26 '04||LAK 1 at EDM 3||R. Smyth|
|Mar 22 '04||EDM 2 at LAK 1||R. Smyth|
|Jan 31 '04||LAK 4 at EDM 3||J. Holland|
|Dec 16 '03||EDM 2 at LAK 4||J. Corvo|