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Oilers-Kings Preview @NHLdotcom
Oilers-Kings Preview

GAME: Edmonton Oilers (26-18-6) at Los Angeles Kings (30-19-3).

TIME: Thursday, 10:30 p.m. EST.

The Edmonton Oilers seem perfectly at home away from home.

The Oilers, who are 9-1-4 in their last 14 road games, try for their second win in two nights in Southern California as they visit the Los Angeles Kings.

With a 15-8-4 road record and a home mark of 11-10-2, Edmonton is the only Western Conference team with more road wins than home victories.

Chris Pronger scored a pair of power-play goals in a 47-second span of the third period Wednesday at Anaheim, breaking open a tie game and lifting the Oilers to a 6-3 victory. Pronger now has 100 career goals.

The Oilers took advantage of 16 penalty minutes against Mighty Ducks goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who lost his cool after he thought Oilers left wing Ryan Smyth interfered with him. The goalie was charged with two roughing penalties, a tripping minor and a 10-minute misconduct in a span of 28 seconds for his retaliations against Smyth.

"Initially, maybe I wasn't surprised at his reaction," Smyth said. "But then the next one I thought, `What is he thinking?' I was just trying to create a little bit of havoc in front of the net. Obviously, that's my job. I drew him into another penalty, he got a little frustrated and we capitalized with another goal."

Edmonton now leads Anaheim, Minnesota and San Jose by six points for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot.

The Kings managed just 16 shots on goal in a 4-1 loss Tuesday at San Jose. Joe Corvo scored the lone Los Angeles goal. Playing one night after defeating Anaheim 3-2 in a shootout at Staples Center, the Kings may have been tired.

"(Fatigue) was only a factor after we had to kill all the penalties in the third period," Kings coach Andy Murray said of the Sharks' six power plays in the second. "I liked our competitive level, but we just wore ourselves out."

Luc Robitaille failed to register a point, snapping his modest three-game points streak. The veteran forward had one assist in the Kings' 3-1 home victory Oct. 11 over Edmonton, and his 57 career assists against the Oilers are his most against any club.

Edmonton has won three of the last four meetings in the series. The Kings and Oilers have split two games this season, with the home team winning each time.

STANDINGS: Oilers - 58 points, 4th place, 5 PB, Northwest Division. Kings - 63 points, 2nd place, 3 PB, Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Oilers - Smyth, 20 goals; Shawn Horcoff, 35 assists and 50 points; Jason Smith, 66 PIM. Kings - Pavol Demitra, 20 goals and 50 points; Lubomir Visnovsky, 34 assists; Sean Avery, 178 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Oilers - Power play: 18.5 percent (58 for 314), 12th in NHL. Penalty killing: 83.0 percent (258 for 311), 12th. Kings - Power play: 15.1 percent (53 for 350), 25th. Penalty killing: 79.9 percent (259 for 324), 25th.

GOALTENDERS: Oilers - Jussi Markkanen (14-11-5, 0 SO, 3.12 GAA); Mike Morrison (6-2-0, 0, 2.37). Kings - Mathieu Garon (21-11-1, 2, 2.74); Jason LaBarbera (9-8-2, 0, 3.26).


LAST MEETING: Dec. 23, 2005; Oilers, 5-3. At Edmonton, Alberta, Pronger had one goal and one assist, and the Oilers scored three third-period goals to improve to 7-0-3 in December. The Kings went 0-for-12 on the power play.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Oilers - 15-8-4 on the road; Kings - 17-7-1 at home.

Associated Press

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