Previewing the Los Angeles Kings' 2013-14 season:
Game 65 @ Edmonton
March 9, 2014
5pm PST (8pm EST)
The Los Angeles Kings continue their three-game Western road trip with a stop in Edmonton to take on the Oilers. The Kings will look to build on their post-Olympic success in hopes of notching a season-high seventh-consecutive win. But despite facing a club that is sitting at the bottom of the West standings, the silver-and-black are up against an Oilers team who are 6-2-2 in their last 10 - and a familiar face in goal.
Sunday's meeting between the Kings and Oilers will mark the third of four meeting between the two Pacific rivals. After winning in a shootout on October 27 in Los Angeles, the Kings gave the Staples faithful an encore on December 17, blanking the Oilers 3-0. But now the season series shifts to Alberta and it will be a former King most likely getting the call between the pipes.
After filling the void left by an injured Jonathan Quick, Ben Scrivens was traded from Los Angeles to Edmonton where he helped deliver some success, despite where his new currently sits. Fresh off signing a two-year extension with Oil, Scrivens looks to continue his string of success. Having won three of his last four starts, the netminder looks to play spoiler, halting his former club's winning streak. The Oilers overall are coming off a come-from-behind home win over the New York Islanders on Thursday and hope they can continue the trend.
But should Scrivens and the Oilers plan on slowing the Kings down, they will need to contain the likes of Mike Richards and Dustin Brown who have combined for eight points (four goals, four assists) since returning from Sochi. Despite seeing his point-streak end in Winnipeg on Thursday, Justin Williams is also on the upswing, having registered five points in his first four games back from the break.
On Thursday, former King Ryan Smyth reached a milestone, passing (another former King) Wayne Gretzky on Edmonton's all-time power play goal list. But the Kings are on the precipice of a few records themselves. Sitting on 169 career wins, Jonathan Quick trails the legendary Rogie Vachon by two wins on the Kings' all-time wins list by a goaltender. In addition, head coach Darryl Sutter is just three wins shy of 500 for his career. Both Quick and Sutter hope to find themselves one step closer to their respective records after Sunday, although the latter would have a better chance as Los Angeles may elect to start Martin Jones in goal instead being that it's the first of back-to-back games for the silver-and-black.
Each team has had a few days off but on Sunday, we'll see which side outlasts who and, just as importantly, which netminder will come out victorious: the former King or the current one.
Enjoy the game!