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Preview: Kings at Oilers

Edmonton goes for fourth straight win; Los Angeles seeking to gain in wild-card race

by Derek Van Diest / NHL.com Correspondent

KINGS (34-30-7) at OILERS (38-24-9)

9 p.m. ET; SNW, FS-W, NHL.TV

 

Kings team scope

The Los Angeles Kings are in fifth place in the Pacific Division and six points behind the Nashville Predators for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. The Kings are playing the second game of a back-to-back set and the first of three games remaining against the Edmonton Oilers. The Kings are 10 points behind the fourth-place Oilers in the Pacific Division. They lost 5-2 at the Calgary Flames on Sunday and did not have a morning skate Monday. "It's nice we don't have to wait too long [to play again]," forward Jarome Iginla said Sunday. "These points are obviously all very important. It gives us a chance to bounce back right away and get that win." The Kings have lost three of their past four games (1-2-1) and return home to play against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday and New York Rangers on Saturday before going back to Western Canada for three games in four nights against the Oilers, Flames and Vancouver Canucks. "I don't think there's any secret to it. Obviously going into Edmonton [on Monday], we have to get the two points. That's the bottom line," captain Anze Kopitar said. "That's what we've got to think every night for every game."

 

Oilers team scope

The Oilers are one point behind the third-place Flames and two behind the second-place Anaheim Ducks in the division. The Oilers hold the first wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference and are four points ahead of the Nashville Predators, who hold the second wild card. The Oilers are on a three-game winning streak and conclude a season-high eight-game homestand (4-2-1). "This is going to be a hard-battling game, and we are ready for it," defenseman Andrej Sekera said. "This is a big game for both teams, and we'll do whatever we can to get the points out of it. For us, every game is important now, especially against teams that are battling [for a playoff spot]. I think this will be very good for us if we win." Goaltender Cam Talbot will make his NHL-high 65th start. Talbot is 36-20-8, four victories from tying the Oilers record for most wins by a goaltender in a season, set by Grant Fuhr in 1987-88. "He's been playing so well for us, and I'm not surprised he's been able to play so many games, he's in really good shape," defenseman Oscar Klefbom said. "If you're here every day, you can see how professional he is taking care of his body."

 

Kings projected lineup

Dustin Brown -- Anze Kopitar -- Jarome Iginla

Tanner Pearson -- Jeff Carter -- Tyler Toffoli

Adrian Kempe -- Trevor Lewis -- Marian Gaborik

Kyle Clifford -- Nic Dowd -- Andy Andreoff

Derek Forbort -- Drew Doughty

Jake Muzzin -- Paul LaDue

Kevin Gravel -- Alec Martinez

Jonathan Quick

Ben Bishop

Scratched: Brayden McNabb

Injured: Matt Greene (back), Jordan Nolan (leg), Nick Shore (upper body)

 

Oilers projected lineup

Patrick Maroon -- Connor McDavid -- Leon Draisaitl

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

Benoit Pouliot -- David Desharnais -- Zack Kassian

Matt Hendricks -- Mark Letestu -- Anton Slepyshev

Oscar Klefbom -- Adam Larsson

Andrej Sekera -- Kris Russell

Darnell Nurse -- Matt Benning

Cam Talbot

Laurent Brossoit

Scratched: Eric Gryba, Iiro Pakarinen, Jujhar Khaira, Drake Caggiula

Injured: Tyler Pitlick (knee)

 

Status report

Quick, who was pulled after giving up two goals on seven shots against the Flames and was replaced by Bishop, is expected to start. … Hendricks is expected to return to the lineup, although coach Todd McLellan would not confirm any changes. Hendricks was a healthy scratch the past two games. He would replace Caggiula or Slepyshev on the fourth line.

 

Who's hot

Kopitar has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in his past 11 games. Toffoli has four points (two goals, two assists) in his past five games. … McDavid has 20 points (seven goals, 13 assists) in his past 16 games. Draisaitl has seven points (one goal, six assists) during a three-game point streak. Lucic has five points (two goals, three assists) in his past five games.

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