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Oilers seek redemption, spoiler's role against Kings

by Derek Van Diest

KINGS (39-25-15) at OILERS (23-43-13)


EDMONTON -- The Los Angeles Kings are living in the moment and not concerned with past games against the Edmonton Oilers.

While the Oilers are still lamenting an 8-2 loss to the Kings last Thursday, Los Angeles goes into the rematch at Rexall Place on Tuesday (9:30 p.m. ET; SN1, SNE, SNO, SNP, PRIME), focused on earning a win as it attempts to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"They'll be ready, that's not an issue," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said at the team hotel Tuesday. "It doesn't matter if the score was 2-1 or 10-2. It doesn't matter. It's still about the game."

The Kings are tied with the Calgary Flames for third place in the Pacific Division and a point behind the Winnipeg Jets for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. Calgary, Winnipeg and Los Angeles play Tuesday; the Flames host the Arizona Coyotes and the Jets are at the St. Louis Blues. Each team has two more games remaining.

Los Angeles did not skate in Edmonton after losing 2-1 in a shootout at the Vancouver Canucks on Monday.

Despite several players logging heavy ice time in the loss at Vancouver, Sutter said he will not emphasis rolling four lines against the Oilers.

"No, we're looking to win, not playing favorites, I'm not looking at last night," Sutter said. "Other than [Anze Kopitar] nobody played over their [minutes], and he had to because he was a left-hander who could win every faceoff, and he was dominant, so he went off for every backhand faceoff in his zone. And, obviously with overtime, if you figure that in, that's 65 [minutes], so there's guys who get a couple more minutes. There was nobody that was over theirs; in fact, some guys were under it. Some guys were half-speed and couldn't play last night. They were just along for the ride."

Goaltender Jonathan Quick is expected to start for the Kings.

The Oilers are looking for a better effort Tuesday. They are aware of the Stanley Cup Playoff implications for Kings. Edmonton will miss the playoffs for the ninth consecutive season, but is anxious to play a spoiler role.

"That last game was a tough game for us, it wasn't nearly our best, but the good thing about hockey is that we have a chance to redeem ourselves tonight," Oilers forward Jordan Eberle said. "The past is behind us, but that being said, we looked at what we did wrong and how we need to play, and we have to get back to that tonight."

The Oilers gave up three goals in the first 10 minutes in Los Angeles and were never able to recover. They have one win in four games against the Kings this season.

"Going there and losing by that much and being embarrassed, everyone felt bad," Oilers forward Benoit Pouliot said. "Now we're back in Edmonton and we have to play better than we have been at home lately. We have to find a way to win this game, or at least, make it hard on them."

Richard Bachman will start in goal for Edmonton. Bachman is back from a personal leave; his older brother, Shelby, died last week. Bachman is 2-0-1 in three career games against the Kings with a goals-against average of 0.70 and a .979 save percentage.

"It's tough not having him here, but he loved watching me play and he'd be happy I'm back doing it," Bachman said. "Coming back here a couple of days ago, it was nice to see a lot of familiar faces. The support the team has given me here really helps."

Oilers forward Tyler Pitlick will also be back in the lineup. He has not played since sustaining a spleen injury in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Flames on Dec. 31.

"I was starting to wonder if I was ever going to get cleared, but I finally did yesterday," Pitlick said. "I'm excited. I'm excited to play again and get a few games in before the summer, it'll be good."

Here are the projected lineups:


Marian Gaborik - Anze Kopitar - Justin Williams

Dwight King - Jeff Carter - Tyler Toffoli

Dustin Brown - Jarret Stoll - Trevor Lewis

Kyle Clifford - Nick Shore - Jordan Nolan

Jake Muzzin - Drew Doughty

Robyn Regehr - Alec Martinez

Brayden McNabb - Matt Greene

Jonathan Quick

Martin Jones

Scratched: Jamie McBain, Andy Andreoff, Mike Richards

Injured: Andrej Sekera (lower body)


Benoit PouliotTaylor Hall - Jordan Eberle

Teddy Purcell - Derek RoyNail Yakupov

Matt FraserAnton LanderTyler Pitlick

Luke GazdicMatt HendricksRob Klinkhammer

Oscar Klefbom - Justin Schultz

Martin MarincinDavid Musil

Keith AulieBrandon Davidson

Richard Bachman

Ben Scrivens

Scratched: None

Injured: Viktor Fasth (knee), Iiro Pakarinen (knee), Andrew Ference (upper body), Mark Fayne (shoulder), Boyd Gordon (back), Nikita Nikitin (foot), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (lower body)

Status report: With Pitlick's return, forward Andrew Miller was reassigned to the Oklahoma City Barons of the American Hockey League. Goaltender Tyler Bunz was reassigned Monday with the return of Bachman … Hall will play his second game at center, filling in for Nugent-Hopkins.

Who's hot: Gaborik has three goals and one assist in his past three games … Carter has two goals and three assists in his past three games … Eberle has three goals and one assist in his past six games.

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