EDMONTON, AB - The Oilers cap their eight-game home stand Monday at Rogers Place with a visit from the Los Angeles Kings. Edmonton is 4-2-1 in their last seven as hosts and is currently riding a three-game winning streak. In those three contests, the club has outscored their opponents 16-5.
"It's nice to be home and just to be around the guys and find a way to win on home ice so that when teams come in here, they hate coming in here," said Patrick Maroon, when asked about the long home stand. "We want them to feel that way. So, we got to find that way and play a big, heavy game tonight."
The Kings are playing their second game in as many nights, losing to the Calgary Flames 5-2 on Sunday. Jonathan Quick was pulled in that game and Ben Bishop came in for relief.
The Oilers seek to keep the Kings at bay and pick up another two points before a short two-game road trip that will see them face the Anaheim Ducks and Colorado Avalanche back-to-back.
"We want two points tonight and it's not because we want a bigger gap (in the standings), we need two points," said Oilers defenceman Adam Larsson. "It's big points for us."
Edmonton is 10 points up on Los Angeles with 85.
NO REST FOR THE WICKED
Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot is expected to make start No. 65 Monday. The Busiest Goalie in the League has started the most games of any goaltender this season and sits in a tie for second in wins with 36. He's faced the most shots against (1,884), made the most saves (1,735) and played the most minutes of any other goaltender (3801:26). Talbot is four wins back of tying Grant Fuhr's single-season record by an Oilers goalie (40).
"He's been probably our best player all year," said Maroon. "He's done a really good job this year and he's one of the best teammates."
Larsson isn't surprised by Talbot's performance or workload this season.
"I'm not surprised he can be this consistent," Larsson said. "He works hard every practice and he's probably in the gym more than most of us. Everybody is really happy for him."
Talbot has also put up six shutouts this campaign, the most for an Oilers netminder since Tommy Salo in 2001-02.
Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan did not offer specifics on his lineup at the Oilers morning skate and only a select handful of players took the ice.
"We're still considering them," said McLellan. "We'll see what we get out of L.A.'s changes and at game time, we'll try to determine who we throw out there."
Based on morning skate, it appears as though Eric Gryba could draw back into the lineup for Matt Benning, as Gryba was the first of the two off the ice.
-- Paul Gazzola, edmontonoilers.com
OILERS (38-24-9) vs. KINGS (34-30-7)
TV: 7:00 p.m. MDT; Televised on Sportsnet West
This is the third of five meetings between the Oilers and Kings this season and the second of three games in Edmonton. The next time these teams will face each other is on March 28 in Edmonton.
The last time these teams met was on December 29 in Edmonton, when the Oilers defeated the Kings by a score of 3-1. Patrick Maroon, Eric Gryba and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins all scored for the Oilers in the win.
Oilers team scope:
The Oilers win on December 29 ended a slide of six straight losses to Los Angeles for Edmonton. With both teams having played 72 games, the Oilers are 10 points ahead of the Kings with 11 games left in the season for both teams.
Looking upward in the standings, the Oilers can move into second place in the Pacific Division with a win tonight as they sit two points back of Anaheim with a game in hand. Edmonton is one point behind Calgary with a game in hand.
Forward Leon Draisaitl has now amassed 63 points (24G, 39A) in 71 games, setting career highs for points, goals and assists. That point total puts him in 18th place in the NHL scoring race. Draisaitl has seven points (1G, 6A) in his last three games.
With 63 points, the native of Cologne, Germany has surpassed Marco Sturm for the most points in one season by a player from Germany. Sturm had 59 points (29G, 30A) in 2005-06 with the Boston Bruins/San Jose Sharks. Sturm was in the eighth full NHL season in 2005-06, and was 27 years old when he set the record.
Draisaitl, 21, leads the Oilers in power play points (24), power play goals (10) and is tied for 14th in the NHL in power play goals.
Goaltender Cam Talbot has now appeared in an NHL high 64 games this season, and leads the NHL in minutes played (3,801), in saves (1,735) and second in wins (36). The Caledonia, ON native has set new career highs in all these categories in 2016-17.
With a 33 save shutout over Vancouver on Mar. 18, Talbot now has six shutouts this season, a new career high.
Talbot now has nine shutouts as an Oiler, putting him into a third place tie with Grant Fuhr for most shutouts.
Talbot is also within four wins of tying the Oilers record for wins by a goaltender in one season, which is 40, a record held by Grant Fuhr (1987-88).
Kings team scope:
The Kings are on the outside looking in when it comes to the Western Conference playoff race. They are six points behind the St. Louis Blues and Nashville Predators for the final playoff spot.
Recent trade deadline acquisition and St. Albert native Jarome Iginla has three goals and four points in eight games with the Kings since being traded from Colorado.
Tonight will be the 99th time Iginla has played the Oilers in his career. He has 38 goals and 89 points in the previous 98 games.
Marian Gaborik has also played the Oilers quite a bit in his career. He has 57 career games against Edmonton. In those games, he has 26 goals and 55 points.
Jeff Carter has 31 goals and 60 points in 71 games this season. Carter has topped 30 goals for the first time since 2010-11 in Philadelphia when he had 36.