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First-place Kings host pesky Oilers

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:50 AM

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

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First-place Kings host pesky Oilers
Edmonton Oilers vs. Los Angeles Kings

OILERS (32-38-9) at KINGS (39-27-13)


Last 10: Edmonton 6-2-2; Los Angeles 7-2-1

Season Series: It's the last of the four meetings between the teams this season. Edmonton won twice before the All-Star break, including a 3-0 win at Staples Center on Nov. 3, before the Kings beat the Oilers 4-1 last Friday at Rexall Place.

Big Story: The Kings come home to start the final weeks of the season on top in the Pacific Division after a grueling road trip that saw them go 2-1-1. They catch the Oilers on the second half of a back-to-back after Edmonton held off Anaheim 2-1 on Sunday.

Team Scope:

Oilers: It's always better to play with a lead. Just ask the Oilers, who scored got a pair of early goals by Teemu Hartikainen and rode the goaltending of Devan Dubnyk to a win in Anaheim. Dubnyk made 32 saves as he continues to stake claim to the No. 1 goaltending job.

"The only way to get better is to play and to learn," he said. "You learn what works and how to play the puck. I feel like I'm in a good spot."

Kings: Coach Darryl Sutter decided not to hold practice on Sunday, opting for meetings and off-ice workouts after his team returned home following four games in six days on the road.

The Kings were disappointed at leaving a point on the table in Minnesota after they led 3-2 entering the third period.

"For us, right now where we are in the standings, we need the points bad. It doesn't matter whether we're playing a team that's in it or out of it," defenseman Rob Scuderi said.

Who's Hot: Dubnyk has won four of his last five decisions and is 20-18-2 on a team that's well below .500. … Anze Kopitar, the Kings' top scorer, had assists on all three goals against Minnesota and has seven points in his last three games.

Injury Report: Edmonton defensemen Ladislav Smid (neck) and Jeff Petry (face) were injured Friday and didn't play Sunday. Taylor Hall (shoulder surgery) hopes to be back by the start of the season. … The Kings are missing forward Jeff Carter (ankle).

Stat Pack: The Kings are 6-8 in shootouts this season. Starting goaltender Jonathan Quick was 10-0 last season. The 73 points by the Oilers is more than they've had in any season since earning 85 in 2008-09. Edmonton had 62 points in each of the last two seasons.

Puck Drop: So what does a hockey team do on April Fools' Day? If you're the Oilers, you put out a press release touting a two-game series with the Canadian Football League's Edmonton Eskimos for "ultimate bragging rights to the City of Champions." Game 1 of the "series" would see both squads suit up for hockey at Rexall Place on June 7, while Game 2 will be football at Commonwealth Stadium on June 29. The team with the highest combined number of goals and points would be crowned champion the next day at the Eskimos' home opener.

As the release notes at the bottom, the winner is the Boys and Girls Club, which will receive $10,000 from both teams.

2011-2012 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 02 '12 EDM 0 at LAK 2 S. Voynov
Mar 30 '12 LAK 4 at EDM 1 M. Richards
Jan 15 '12 LAK 1 at EDM 2 - OT T. Hall
Nov 03 '11 EDM 3 at LAK 0 R. Smyth
J. Eberle76334275+48104
T. Hall61272653-336137
R. Nugent-Hopkins60183351-11232
R. Smyth80192746-48244
S. Gagner73172946+53660
A. Hemsky67102535-144311
S. Horcoff79132134-222450
R. Jones77171532-84232
J. Petry7122224-92610
C. Potter6241721-162410
R. Whitney4931720-141620
T. Gilbert4731417-41221
E. Belanger7641216-123210
L. Smid7851015+44400
B. Eager628513-110303
A. Sutton503710+67801
L. Petrell59459-94500
M. Paajarvi41268-7400
N. Schultz80167-94010
A. Lander56246-81200
T. Hartikainen15235+3401
L. Omark14303-5800
T. Peckham54123+08000
D. Hordichuk41123-35500
C. Barker23202-12311
J. Green7112-6710
C. VandeVelde3101+2200
C. Teubert22011-42500
R. O'Marra7011+0400
A. Plante3011+0200
P. Cornet2011+0000
T. Chorney5000-1000
M. Kytnar1000+0000
B. Rodney1000-1000
D. Dubnyk4520-19-211213212.65.915
N. Khabibulin4012-20-710011142.65.910
Y. Danis10-0-02123.75.833
A. Kopitar80254873+131882
J. Williams80193655+114262
D. Brown80213152+195196
M. Richards72172542+46921
D. Doughty75102636+06233
J. Carter55211334-1216102
J. Johnson6181624-122454
S. Voynov5281220+131232
W. Mitchell7451520+204402
J. Stoll7651419+35800
D. Penner6371017-74310
S. Gagne3471017-11802
M. Greene8041115+45102
D. King255813+51001
K. Clifford795712-511302
A. Martinez49549-1820
R. Scuderi80189-41400
B. Richardson57538-63000
C. Fraser65268-26500
T. Lewis70347-32601
A. Loktionov39347-4210
T. Hunter38257-4801
J. Nolan24224+22601
E. Moreau28134-32001
S. Parse9202+11410
D. Drewiske9202+0200
K. Westgarth25112-33900
J. Quick6735-21-1112518091.89.931
J. Bernier165-6-2353832.36.909