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Kings aim to become No. 1 on Monday

Sunday, 12.13.2009 / 10:31 PM / Game Previews

NHL.com

It's been more than 10 years since the Los Angeles Kings were atop the NHL standings this late in the season, but Terry Murray's club can grab sole possession of first place in the League as part of Monday's eight-game schedule.

The Kings, who earned a 3-2 shootout win against the Dallas Stars at the Staples Center on Saturday night, begin a four-game road trip on Monday as they visit the Vancouver Canucks at GM Place at 10 p.m. With 45 points, Los Angeles is currently tied with the San Jose Sharks for the Western Conference lead and just one point behind the Washington Capitals, who are idle on Monday.

Five games are slated to begin at 7 p.m. ET. The Philadelphia Flyers will look to get back on the right track as they visit the Boston Bruins at TD Garden in a preview of the 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. The Flyers have lost their last two games and are currently in last place in the Atlantic Division.

The battle of Ontario also resumes in Toronto, where the Maple Leafs host the Ottawa Senators at the Air Canada Centre. The Leafs have won seven of their last 10 games to climb back into playoff contention in the Eastern Conference.

Meanwhile, the New York Islanders aim to get back to the .500 mark as they host the Florida Panthers at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The New York Rangers are also in action across the East River as they take on the Atlanta Thrashers at Madison Square Garden. The Blueshirts are the only team in the Atlantic Division that is below the .500 mark on home ice (7-8-1).

The Columbus Blue Jackets, who have won only twice in their last 10 games, host the Nashville Predators at Nationwide Arena. Nashville was denied a three-game winning streak when it suffered a 3-2 overtime loss on home ice to the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday.

Two games get under way at 7:30 p.m. ET -- the Montreal Canadiens host the Buffalo Sabres in a Northeast Division showdown (Versus in the U.S., RDS in Canada), while the Phoenix Coyotes visit Detroit. Phoenix is 19-11-2, just five points behind Los Angeles and San Jose in the Pacific Division.

Quote of the Day

I feel that responsibility, I've felt it for the last two years. We core guys get a lot of minutes, we get a lot of opportunity out there. Our teammates, the organization and fans look to us to be the guys to put the puck in the net and to create momentum out there.

— Jordan Eberle on taking his game and the Edmonton Oilers to the next level