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Preview: Oilers at Kings

Edmonton battling for first place in Pacific Division; Los Angeles trying to finish season on upswing

NHL.com @NHL

OILERS (44-25-9) at KINGS (37-34-7)

10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SNW, NHL.TV

 

Oilers team scope

The Edmonton Oilers are second in the Pacific Division, two points behind the Anaheim Ducks, entering the opener of a three-game road trip. Edmonton has one game in hand on Anaheim and each team has 40 regulation/overtime wins. The Oilers are on a five-game winning streak and are 9-1-0 in their past 10 games. Center Connor McDavid and forward Leon Draisaitl each have 10-game point streaks; McDavid has 19 points (six goals, 13 assists) and Draisaitl has 18 points (five goals, 13 assists). "The team seems to be clicking, my linemates are playing great, everything seems to be going well," McDavid told the Oilers website after the morning skate. "When the team is doing well, that's when individuals are going to find success as well. I think that's part of it." McDavid leads the NHL in scoring with 94 points (29 goals, 65 assists); he's seven points ahead of Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane. With four regular-season games remaining, Edmonton has already qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2006. "I don't think you can ever fully replicate what that's like [playoffs]," McDavid said. "But I think these games [down the stretch] have been as close as you can get. That Anaheim game on Saturday [a 3-2 overtime win] -- I've never played in the playoffs so I don't know what it's like, but that's what I envision it being like."

 

Kings team scope

The Los Angeles Kings are fifth in the Pacific Division and were eliminated from Stanley Cup Playoff contention when they lost 2-1 to the Arizona Coyotes at Staples Center on Sunday. They're 4-6-1 in their past 11 games. The Kings and Oilers are playing for the third time in 16 days. The Kings lost twice in Edmonton, 2-0 on March 20 and 2-1 on March 28. "We've just got to play hard. We're playing for a club that [has] a lot of faith in here," defenseman Drew Doughty told LAKings.com following the morning skate. "We just want to play our best. We play for our teammates sitting beside us and if anyone here is going to take a game off, we're not going to accept that. Even though we know we're out, we've got a lot to prove." The Kings are 1-3-0 against the Oilers this season; the victory was a 4-2 win at Staples Center on Nov. 17. "This Edmonton team has beaten us the last three times, and it's a team that we're going to see next year and we're going to see down the road many times. We need to show them that they're not going to be having this kind of success against us every single season," Doughty said. "So tonight we need a big win, and we need to play just as hard as we have. No one's going to take a night off. We take a lot of pride playing for the Los Angeles Kings. This organization has treated us so amazingly."

 

Oilers projected lineup

Patrick Maroon -- Connor McDavid -- Leon Draisaitl

Milan Lucic -- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Jordan Eberle

Benoit Pouliot -- David Desharnais -- Zack Kassian

Drake Caggiula -- Mark Letestu -- Anton Slepyshev

Oscar Klefbom -- Adam Larsson

Andrej Sekera -- Kris Russell

Darnell Nurse -- Matt Benning

Cam Talbot

Laurent Brossoit

Scratched: Iiro Pakarinen, Matt Hendricks, Eric Gryba

Injured: Tyler Pitlick (knee)

 

Kings projected lineup

Tanner Pearson -- Anze Kopitar -- Tyler Toffoli

Adrian Kempe -- Jeff Carter -- Jarome Iginla

Trevor Lewis -- Nick Shore -- Dustin Brown

Kyle Clifford -- Nic Dowd -- Jonny Brodzinski

Derek Forbort -- Drew Doughty

Jake Muzzin -- Paul LaDue

Brayden McNabb -- Alec Martinez

Jonathan Quick

Ben Bishop

Scratched: Andy Andreoff, Marian Gaborik, Kevin Gravel, Jordan Nolan

Injured: Matt Greene (back)

 

Status report

Brodzinski will play after being a healthy scratch Sunday. Gaborik will be a healthy scratch after playing the past three games. … Dowd will center the fourth line after being a healthy scratch for the past three games. … The Oilers assigned forward Jujhar Khaira to Bakersfield of the American Hockey League on Tuesday. Slepyshev will play on the fourth line in place of Hendricks

 

Who's hot

McDavid has six points (three goals, three assists) in his past three games. Draisaitl has nine points (four goals, five assists) in his past six games. Maroon has 10 points (six goals, four assists) in his past 10 games. … Kopitar has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in his past 12 games. … Quick is 5-5-0, with 18 goals against and two shutouts in his past 11 games.

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