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Kings at Oilers preview

Quick making first start for Los Angeles following knee surgery; Edmonton eyes third win under Hitchcock

by Derek Van Diest / Correspondent

KINGS (9-14-1) at OILERS (11-11-2)

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


The Game

Goalie Jonathan Quick will start his first game since Oct. 23 when the Los Angeles Kings visit the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place on Thursday.

Quick, who had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee on Oct. 30, has missed 15 games. He's 0-3-1 with a 4.55 goals-against average and .845 save percentage in four starts this season.

The Kings, who seek their third straight win, are 7-8-0 in Quick's absence.

The Oilers are 2-1-1 under coach Ken Hitchcock, who replaced Todd McLellan on Nov. 20. They were 1-6-0 in their previous seven games.

Goalie Mikko Koskinen will start for the sixth time in the past eight games for Edmonton; he's 6-2-1 with a 2.29 GAA and .908 save percentage in 10 games (nine starts).


Players to watch

Quick is 21-5-5 against Edmonton, his most wins against any NHL opponent. He's one shutout from his 50th in the League.

Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl has 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in his past seven games.


They said it

"He's a big part of our team and he has been for the last decade, so when you get a player like that back, it just gives you a boost." -- Kings forward Dustin Brown on the return of goalie Jonathan Quick


"The system hasn't changed much, it's more of his concepts and his ideas and the way he thinks that our team should have been playing before, and he's tried to bring that into the room." -- Oilers center Connor McDavid on coach Ken Hitchcock


Kings projected lineup

Alex Iafallo -- Anze Kopitar -- Dustin Brown

Kyle Clifford -- Jeff Carter -- Tyler Toffoli

Ilya Kovalchuk -- Adrian Kempe -- Matt Luff

Austin Wagner -- Nate Thompson -- Sheldon Rempal

Derek Forbort -- Drew Doughty

Jake Muzzin -- Alec Martinez

Dion Phaneuf -- Paul LaDue

Jonathan Quick

Calvin Petersen

Scratched: Oscar Fantenberg, Michael Amadio

Injured: Jonny Brodzinski (shoulder), Jack Campbell (knee), Trevor Lewis (lower body), Carl Hagelin (knee)


Oilers projected lineup

Leon Draisaitl -- Connor McDavid -- Alex Chiasson

Drake Caggiula -- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Jesse Puljujarvi

Milan Lucic -- Kyle Brodziak -- Zack Kassian

Jujhar Khaira -- Ryan Spooner -- Patrick Russell

Oscar Klefbom -- Adam Larsson

Darnell Nurse -- Kris Russell

Kevin Gravel -- Matt Benning

Mikko Koskinen

Cam Talbot

Scratched: Jason Garrison, Chris Wideman, Ty Rattie  

Injured: Andrej Sekera (Achilles), Tobias Rieder (upper body)


Status report

Los Angeles assigned goalie Peter Budaj to Ontario of the American Hockey League to make room for Quick … Kovalchuk will move up to the third line after playing on the fourth the past two games … Gravel will play in place of Garrison.


Stat pack

Kovalchuk has no points in his past 10 games after having 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in his first 14 games. … Kopitar has nine points (three goals, six assists) in his past six games. … McDavid has 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in his past seven games.

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