Previewing the Los Angeles Kings' 2011-12 season:
Game 12 vs. Edmonton
November 3, 2011
7:30pm PST (10:30pm EST)
It seems it’s been an eternity since they last played but after four days, the Los Angeles Kings are back on the ice tonight as they host the red-hot Edmonton Oilers for the first meeting of the season between the two clubs.
The Kings and Oilers are both very familiar with each other, especially considering that many players on both teams have once played for the other. Jarret Stoll, Matt Greene and Colin Fraser of the Kings have all played for the Oilers while the same can be said for Edmonton’s Ryan Smyth, Eric Belanger and Colten Teubert, who all played for the Kings, although the latter never played a regular season game for his old club.
The Kings enter tonight’s game trying to rebound from their 3-2 against the Avalanche on Sunday while the Oilers hope to extend their five-game winning streak. Only two points separate the teams and the Kings look to even the Oilers in the standings.
The Kings will have their hands full tonight at all positions. While Simon Gagne will return to the lineup playing on the top line, they’ll have to find some answers in order to solve Edmonton’s rejuvenated 38-year-old netminder, Nikolai Khabibulin who currently leads the league in goals-against average and save-percentage.
Up front, the Kings will need to find a way to contain Edmonton’s top-three scorers in Jordan Eberle and Ryan Smyth (each with 10 points) and this past spring’s #1 overall pick, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (11 points). If that’s not enough, Taylor Hall and Shawn Horcoff need to be contained as well as both players have registered nine and seven points, respectively.
On the blueline, in his first year with the Oilers, defenseman Corey Potter has a goal and six assists in 11 games so far. In addition, the Oilers have called up Colten Teubert, who was traded by the Kings to Edmonton for Dustin Penner back in February. This will be Teubert’s NHL debut so we’ll see how he fares, especially against his old team.
The Oilers are 7-2-2 while the Kings are 6-3-2. The Kings may not have any complaints about their current record but they certainly aren’t satisfied. Will win number seven come tonight? The Kings sure hope so.
Enjoy the game!
Photo: Courtesy of Ed Kaiser, edmontonjournal.com