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Edmonton Oilers vs. Los Angeles Kings @NHLdotcom
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GAME: Edmonton Oilers (3-0-0) at Los Angeles Kings (2-1-0).

TIME: Tuesday, 10:30 p.m. EDT.

The Los Angeles Kings shoot for their third straight win as they continue a five-game homestand against the unbeaten Edmonton Oilers.

Los Angeles grinded out a 2-1 victory over Minnesota on Sunday as Pavol Demitra scored the game-winner on a 40-foot wrist shot in overtime. The Kings' first three games have all been decided by one goal.

Mathieu Garon made 24 saves and registered his first win of the season thanks to Demitra, who beat a screened Manny Fernandez to the glove side for his second goal of the season.

The Kings were frustrated for most of the night due to Wild coach Jacques Lemaire's defensive style. With Minnesota concentrating on forechecking and protecting its zone, Los Angeles found it difficult to create offense.

"They have a hardworking team, play a strong defensive game and they're not going to open up too much at any time," Demitra said. "So you have to make the most of the chances you create against them."

Edmonton opened its two-game West Coast trip with a 4-2 victory at Anaheim on Monday. The Oilers won despite being without star left wing Ryan Smyth, who is not traveling with the team due to a sprained left knee suffered in Saturday's win over Vancouver.

Raffi Torres scored twice for the second straight game, including one of three power-play goals for Edmonton. His empty-net tally with 33 seconds left sealed the victory.

Smyth's absence opened the door for left wing Jani Rita to skate with the top line of Shawn Horcoff and Radek Dvorak for a few shifts. The 24-year-old, playing his 16th NHL game, did not register a point.

Backup goaltender Ty Conklin, who is 2-0 career against Los Angeles, is expected to get the start. Conklin was shaky in his season debut, allowing three goals on 17 shots in a 4-3 victory over Colorado on Wednesday.

STANDINGS (through Oct. 9): Oilers - 8 points, 1st place, Northwest Division. Kings - 9 points, 1st place, Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Oilers - Torres, 4 goals; Ales Hemsky, 4 assists; Horcoff, 5 points, Igor Ulanov, 8 PIM. Kings - Pavol Demitra and Jeremy Roenick, 2 goals; Derek Armstrong and Lubomir Visnovsky, 3 assists; Demitra, 4 points; Sean Avery, 11 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 9): Oilers - Power play: 21.4 percent (3 for 14), 8th (tied) in NHL. Penalty killing: 80.0 percent (12 for 15), 16th. Kings - Power play: 37.5 percent (3 for 8), 1st. Penalty killing: 76.5 percent (13 for 17), 22nd.

GOALTENDERS: Oilers - Conklin (1-0-0, 0 SOs, 3.05 GAA); Jussi Markkanen (1-0-0, 0 SO, 2.40). Kings - Garon (1-1-0, 0, 2.93); Jason LaBarbera (1-0-0, 0, 2.00).

2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Tied, 2-2.

LAST MEETING: March 26, 2004; Oilers, 3-1. At Edmonton, Petr Nedved scored his 300th career goal and Fernando Pisani tallied on the power play as the Oilers handed the Kings their sixth straight loss.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Oilers - 1-0-0-0 on the road; Kings - 2-0-0-0 at home.

Associated Press

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