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LA Kings & Edmonton Oilers Struggling to Find Success

Five-game road trip was not kind to Los Angeles

by Jesse Cohen @KingsMenPodcast / LAKings.com

The LA Kings return to STAPLES Center following a disappointing five-game road trip, having captured only three out of a possible 10 points.

Despite a strong showing in the opening game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, injuries and fatigue seemed to knock the Kings off their game.

Their 7-0 win against the Maple Leafs was followed by losses to the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators. The Kings uncharacteristically rated below 50 percent in both Corsi and Fenwick (statistics that gauge puck possession).

The Kings seemed to revert back to form as the road trip continued in their games against the Winnipeg Jets and Colorado Avalanche. However, they were without the services of All-Star center Anze Kopitar and goaltender Jeff Zatkoff, who were both injured during the game against the Senators.

A 3-2 shootout loss in Winnipeg and a 4-1 defeat in Colorado mercifully ended the trip.

Gary Thorne Road Trip Record

Tweet from @HSTHB: Presented without comment pic.twitter.com/ixpp2IlCZ4

But the road trip is over, and there is reason to think better days are ahead:

Tweet from @lakingsinsider: Hey hey: Kopitar, Andreoff, Gaborik all skating this morning.

Plus, the Kings play the Edmonton Oilers tonight. The Oilers!

Here's a brief look at the history between the Kings and Oilers.

LA Kings vs Edmonton Oilers

First Matchup vs. Oilers 
December 22nd, 1979
LAK 9 - EDM 3

Most Recent Matchup vs. Oilers in Los Angeles
March 26th, 2016
LAK 6 - EDM 4

Toffoli, Lucic, Carter lead Kings past Oilers

All-Time Record vs. Oilers
80-80-30-9
716 Goals For - 764 Goals Allowed

All-Time Record against Oilers at STAPLES Center
17-14-1
102 Goals For - 82 Goals Allowed

Kings Leading Scorers vs. Oilers
Anze Kopitar - 35 points (10-25=35) in 39 games
Dustin Brown - 33 points (16-17=33) in 45 games

Oilers Leading Scorers vs. Kings
Benoit Pouilot - 9 points (4-5=9) in 17 games
Patrick Maroon - 8 points (5-3=8) in 14 games

Familiar Faces
Tom Gilbert

How well do Oilers know Tom Gilbert

Milan Lucic

Milan Lucic vs Darnell Nurse Dec 29, 2015

LA Kings Leading Scorer
Jeff Carter - 11 points (5-6=11) in 17 games

Edmonton Oilers Leading Scorer
Connor McDavid - 19 points (5-14=19) in 17 games

The Kings and Oilers have identical 3-6-1 records over their past 10 games. The Oilers enter tonight's game on a four-game losing streak while the Kings are 0-3-1 in their previous four.

With Anze Kopitar still unlikely to appear for the Kings, Coach Darryl Sutter has reunited That 70s Line and they couldn't ask for a better opponent.

Tyler Toffoli (13 points in 13 games) and Tanner Pearson (7 points in 7 games) each average a point per game and Jeff Carter has 26 points (17-9=26) in 21 games against the Oilers.

Despite predictions that Connor McDavid may lead the Oilers to instant Stanley Cup contention, Edmonton finds itself in the middle of the pack in most meaningful team statistics.

The exception is on the penalty kill where the Oilers boast the fourth best penalty killing unit in the league, shutting down opponents 87.5 percent of the time.

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