GAME: Los Angeles Kings (20-15-12-5) at Edmonton Oilers (20-23-8-1).
TIME: Saturday, 10 p.m. EST.
Despite missing several of their top players, the Los Angeles Kings are
playing well and challenging for a playoff spot.
They'll face a difficult test in that quest when they open a seven-game road
trip Saturday against the Edmonton Oilers.
Derek Armstrong scored the tying goal with 3:15 left in regulation and Scott
Barney and Alexander Frolov added power-play tallies Thursday, helping the
Kings to a 3-3 tie against Colorado.
"It was a gratifying tie," Kings coach Andy Murray said. "Our penalty
killing stepped up for us tonight and we were able to get a couple of
power-play goals, too."
Missing from the Kings' lineup were forwards Zigmund Palffy and Martin
Straka and defenseman Aaron Miller. Forwards Jason Allison and Adam Deadmarsh
will miss the entire season with head injuries.
Palffy is also out for the season following shoulder surgery and Straka is
sidelined with a sprained knee.
"If Marty Straka does return, it will probably be late March or early
April, but we'd have to be in the playoff position we want so badly for him to
come back and play," Murray said.
Thursday's tie moved the Kings to 2-0-2 in their last four games, leaving
them with just one regulation loss in 11 games (4-1-5-1).
This will be the 16th road trip of seven or more game since 1991 for the
Kings, who have had a winning record in only one of the previous 15.
Edmonton, in danger of falling out of the playoff race in the Western
Conference, stopped a three-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory over Chicago
Shawn Horcoff scored twice and Tommy Salo made 30 saves for the Oilers, last
in the Northwest Division with 49 points.
"It was an important game for us. I don't think it was the best game we
played, but we won the game," said Salo.
While the Oilers were desperate for two points, even better news came with
the return of captain Jason Smith, who missed 14 games with a sprained left
Smith's return couldn't come soon enough because Edmonton will be without
leading scorer Mike York for three to six weeks with a broken finger.