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After shootout loss, Kings head to Edmonton

by Brian Compton /
KINGS (27-22-2) at OILERS (15-26-8)


Last 10: Los Angeles 4-5-1; Edmonton 2-7-1.

Season Series: This is the third of four meetings between the teams. Los Angeles is seeking its third straight win against Edmonton as it has outscored the Oilers 8-4 in a pair of victories.

Big Story: It's Game 2 of this 10-game road trip for the Kings, who opened things up with a 1-0 shootout loss at Minnesota on Tuesday night. While they're certainly within striking distance, the Kings are still on the outside looking in when it comes to the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoff race.

"You want to give yourself every opportunity to win the game, and we did that," Los Angeles coach Terry Murray told We left everything out there tonight. We've got to regroup. We've got to move on and get focused on the game up in Edmonton. You've got to keep the short-term focus when you have a long, extended trip like this."

Team Scope:

Kings: The most encouraging sign from Tuesday's game against the Wild was the play of backup goalie Jonathan Bernier. The 22-year-old made 25 saves through overtime to assure his club of at least one point in the standings.

"I just tried to make the first save," Bernier told "I thought everyone was in good position tonight. I thought we had good sticks out there. I thought they got some scoring chances because I gave a bad rebound up in the third. I should have kept it in my chest, and it bounced out. After that, they had a few good looks. Other than that, I thought we played very solid defensively."

Oilers: Edmonton received some good news Tuesday morning as Ales Hemsky returned to practice. Originally named an All-Star, Hemsky was forced to skip last weekend's festivities due to a concussion that kept him sidelined for two weeks.

"I got a puck in the neck in the Vancouver game (Jan. 7), then in San Jose (Jan. 13) I got hit in my nose, kind of in my face, and I felt it pretty good," Hemsky said. "The next morning I didn't feel really good but the next day I felt okay to play, and I played two games.

"I just wasn't into it, I didn't feel that good. The next day I came again, I told them I've got some issues and stuff like that, but I had a cold too so I was thinking it was the cold. The next game against Minnesota (Jan. 18), I figured it's probably the headaches, I didn't feel good, so they just pulled me out and we treated it like a concussion."

Who's Hot: Kings forward Ryan Smyth is averaging a point per game over his last four contests (2 goals, 2 assists). … Oilers forward Dustin Penner has two goals in as many games.
Injury Report: Los Angeles will be without Scott Parse (hip), while Marco Sturm (knee) is day-to-day. … For the Oilers, Jordan Eberle (ankle) and Gilbert Brule (upper body) are day-to-day, while Ryan Whitney is out for the season with a knee injury.

Stat Pack: Prior to Tuesday's loss, the Kings were 5-0 this season in shootouts. … Edmonton goalie Nikolai Khabibulin has lost 11 games in a row.

Puck Drop: "We're neck-and-neck. Everybody is trying to fight for the last few spots, and there are a lot of teams clustered up. From the fourth spot to the 12th spot, it's pretty close. I think we're going to see a lot of those games, where it's 1-0 or 1-1 going into overtime." -- Kings captain Dustin Brown to following Tuesday's loss
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