Previewing the Los Angeles Kings' 2013-14 season:
Game 35 vs. Edmonton
December 17, 2013
7:30pm PST (10:30pm EST)
After gaining six out of a possible eight points on their most recent road trip, the Los Angeles Kings return home for a Tuesday night date with the Edmonton Oilers for their second of four meetings with their division rivals.
The last time the Kings and Oilers met was at Staples Center back on October 27 when Los Angeles fired 48 shots against the Oilers only to be stopped 47 of those times by netminder Richard Bachman. On Tuesday, while they hope for just as many scoring chances, the Kings will hope to turn more of those into goals.
Despite seeing their six-game winning streak come to an end in Chicago on Sunday, the 22-8-4 Kings are still in good position as they sit second in the Pacific just three points behind first-place Anaheim. However, if they want to get back on the winning streak (and I feel I’ve said this multiple times before), their offense needs to start finding opportunities. While said offense was strong during wins in Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa, it was virtually non-existent in Chicago aside from a late Alec Martinez tally. Of course, in all fairness, the defense and goaltending of the Blackhawks certainly deserves a fair bit of credit.
As for who starts in goal for Los Angeles on Tuesday, it’s unknown at this point but despite a shaky opening period on Sunday, Ben Scrivens rebounded to make 37 saves en route to his team’s defeat.
The 11-21-3 Oilers, meanwhile, are currently last in the Western Conference having lost three straight and enter Staples Center with a league-worst 6-11-2 road record.
Despite their opponent’s struggles, the Kings must contain Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall should they hope to win. Eberle has two goals and four points in his last three games while Hall has five goals and three assists in his last six outings. As for who’s hot for the Kings, that would be Jeff Carter (six points in his last six games) and Slava Voynov (three assists in four games).
On the injury front, Los Angeles is still without Colin Fraser but will hope to get Willie Mitchell, who missed Sunday’s game in Chicago, back in the lineup. After missing Sunday’s game with a rib injury, Edmonton’s Ales Hemsky is questionable for Tuesday night.
Tuesday evening marks the beginning of a four-game homestand for the Kings before the holiday break and the silver-and-black hope to kick this one off with a pair of points. We’ll see if they can do just that at 7:30pm PST (10:30pm EST).
Enjoy the game!