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Kings at Oilers preview

Los Angeles looks to gain in Pacific; McDavid can move into first in scoring race

by Derek Van Diest / Correspondent

KINGS (41-27-7) at OILERS (33-36-5)

10 p.m. ET; CBC, SN, SN1, FS-W, NHL.TV


The Game

The Los Angeles Kings look to gain in the Pacific Division when they visit the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place on Saturday.

Los Angeles is four points behind the San Jose Sharks for second and tied with the Anaheim Ducks, but hold the tiebreaker with more regulation/overtime wins (39-34). The Kings are playing the finale of a four-game road trip (2-0-1). 

Edmonton, which has been eliminated from playoff contention, is playing the first of a three-game homestand after going 3-0-1 on a four-game road trip.


Players to watch

Kings center Anze Kopitar scored four goals in a 7-1 win at the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday and has 10 points (five goals, five assists) in his past five games.

Oilers center Connor McDavid had two goals and two assists in a 6-2 win at the Ottawa Senators on Thursday and is second in NHL scoring with 94 points (36 goals, 58 assists), one point behind Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov.


They said it

"Just from the opportunity of getting to play with him, I have a whole new appreciation for the way he plays the game. I had a lot of respect playing against him and knew how tough it was to defend him with his skill, but just seeing him night in and night out, the way that he plays a full 200-foot game, but he's got a real good offensive side too." -- Kings defenseman Dion Phaneuf on Anze Kopitar

"We all have pride and I think we want to take in a little bit of that spoiler role. All these games are still important, they still mean a lot to us as a team and I think we've been playing some decent hockey lately and hopefully we can keep it going."-- Oilers center Leon Draisaitl


Kings projected lineup

Alex Iafallo -- Anze Kopitar -- Dustin Brown

Tanner Pearson -- Jeff Carter -- Tobias Rieder

Adrian Kempe -- Nate Thompson -- Tyler Toffoli

Kyle Clifford -- Mike Amadio -- Torrey Mitchell

Derek Forbort -- Drew Doughty

Dion Phaneuf -- Alec Martinez

Jake Muzzin -- Christian Folin

Jonathan Quick

Jack Campbell

Scratched: Andy Andreoff, Kevin Gravel

Injured: Trevor Lewis (upper body)


Oilers projected lineup

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Connor McDavid -- Ty Rattie

Drake Caggiula -- Leon Draisaitl -- Pontus Aberg

Milan Lucic -- Ryan Strome -- Jesse Puljujarvi

Anton Slepyshev -- Jujhar Khaira -- Iiro Pakarinen

Darnell Nurse -- Adam Larsson

Kris Russell -- Ethan Bear

Andrej Sekera -- Matt Benning

Cam Talbot

Al Montoya

Scratched: Brad Malone, Yohann Auvitu

Injured: Oscar Klefbom (shoulder), Michael Cammalleri (undisclosed), Zack Kassian (undisclosed)


Status report

Sekera will return after missing the past two games with a foot injury … Lewis is expected to miss his third game. … Malone was recalled from Bakersfield of the American Hockey League on an emergency basis Wednesday but will not play.


Stat pack

Doughty has 11 points (one goal, 10 assists) in his past eight games. … Quick is 7-3-0 with a 2.16 goals-against average and .928 save percentage in his past 10 starts. … Nugent-Hopkins has nine points (four goals, five assists) in his past seven games.

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