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Kings try to start new winning streak vs. Oilers

by Brian Compton

OILERS (18-35-6) at KINGS (36-20-3)

Last 10 -- Edmonton 2-7-1; Los Angeles 9-1-0.

Season series -- This is the third of four meetings between the teams. The Kings are 2-0 against the Oilers, and most recently earned a 3-2 victory on Dec. 15 atRexall Place. Sean O'Donnell scored the game-winner with just under five minutes left in regulation.

Big story -- The only thing that could top a postseason appearance for the Kings would be to have home-ice advantage in the opening round. That still remains highly possible, as Los Angeles enters Thursday's action just four points behind the Phoenix Coyotes for the No. 4 seed. The Kings also have two games in hand.

Team Scope:

Oilers -- The nightmarish season continued for Edmonton on Wednesday night, as it suffered a 3-2 loss at Anaheim - despite scoring a pair of shorthanded goals. The Oilers haven't won on the road since a 5-3 victory at St. Louis on Dec. 11 and are 3-22-2 in their last 27 games.

"They played hard tonight and certainly deserved a better result," Edmonton coach Pat Quinn said of his group. "We had a lot of chances to score again. If we keep getting chances, maybe we'll get the confidence to start putting some in."

Kings -- Los Angeles had a nine-game winning streak snapped on Monday night when it dropped a 4-2 decision to the Ducks at the Honda Center. The win streak was a franchise record for the Kings, who haven't made the playoffs in eight years.

"It was a nice run, a very nice run," Los Angeles coach Terry Murray said. "Guys really dug in, through some very hard games, a long road trip, come from behind, a lot of playing hard for each other, a lot of perseverance through some difficult games there. To find a way to stretch the streak to nine was tremendous. We rallied in the third period, but Anaheim brought their 'A' game here today and we didn't match it."

Who's hot -- Kings forward Anze Kopitar has recorded at least one point in 13 of his last 15 games and has 10 goals in his last 15 games.

Injury report -- Oilers forward Sam Gagner (knee) will not return until after the Olympic break, while defenseman Sheldon Souray is out at least another month with a broken hand. Ryan Stone (knee) is out indefinitely. Nikolai Khabibulin (back) and Ales Hemsky (shoulder) are done for the season. … Kings forward Justin Williams is expected to miss another month with a broken ankle, while Andrei Loktionov is on injured reserve due to a dislocated shoulder.

Stat pack -- The Oilers have been held to one or fewer goals in five of their last eight games. They've scored more than twice in four of their last 27 contests.

Puck drop -- "I guess we're pretty happy with those nine wins in a row, but I know we were a little disappointed that we didn't play very well in the first two periods. We came to play in the third and we took it to them. We've just to learn from that, and learn that we have to play every period like we did in the third." -- Kings defenseman Drew Doughty after Monday's 4-2 loss at Anaheim

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