A run that began with a much-needed victory prior to the Olympic break now has the Los Angeles Kings on the verge of their longest winning streak in four seasons.
The visiting Kings can record their seventh straight win Sunday night by continuing their success over the Edmonton Oilers.
Los Angeles (36-22-6) dropped nine of 10 before a 2-1 overtime win over Columbus on Feb. 6 in its last game before the break. Led by Team USA goaltender Jonathan Quick, the Kings have held opponents to seven goals in five games since the Olympics and are in position to notch their longest win streak since a nine-game run Jan. 21-Feb. 6, 2010.
"Our team is capable of it," forward Dustin Brown told the NHL's official website after Thursday's 3-1 victory at Winnipeg. "It's just a matter of doing the right things, and it's going to take everyone. That's what has happened so far and what needs to continue to happen."
Quick has an 0.79 goals-against average over a personal five-game winning streak that followed his 1-7-1 slide during which he posted a 2.64 GAA. He's 6-0-2 with a 1.36 GAA all-time at Edmonton.
While the Kings allow a league-low 2.05 goals per contest, they hope to give their offense a boost with this week's acquisition of veteran forward Marian Gaborik from Columbus. A three-time 40-goal scorer, Gaborik had three shots without a point in his Los Angeles debut Thursday.
However, his new teammates believe Gaborik does not need to score to help the Kings succeed.
"It's not necessarily that (an acquisition like Gaborik is) going to score all of the goals," said Brown, who has two goals and three assists in five games since the break. "It's the fact that other teams have to worry about those guys, and then other guys can find mismatches, whether it's playing against fifth and sixth defensemen and third lines.
"They have to pick their poison. It makes it harder for teams to distribute their talent or shut those guys down."
Gaborik hasn't faced the Oilers since October 2011, but has 11 goals and seven assists in his last 14 games at Edmonton.
The Kings are 8-0-2 in their last 10 visits and have won four straight overall in the series - two this season - by a combined 12-3 score. Los Angeles has suffered only one regulation loss in 21 meetings with Edmonton since the start of the 2008-09 season.
The Oilers (22-34-8), however, enter this matchup looking to match a season high with a third straight victory following consecutive 3-2 home wins over Ottawa and the New York Islanders.
Taylor Hall scored his 21st in overtime Thursday as Edmonton rallied from a 2-0 deficit to beat the Islanders. Ryan Smyth had an assist and scored his 126th power-play goal with the Oilers to tie Glenn Anderson for the most in club history, one ahead of Wayne Gretzky.
"It's an honor even to be mentioned with guys like Gretzky and Anderson," said Smyth, who spent two seasons with Los Angeles from 2009-11.
Ben Scrivens, who has a 1.85 GAA while winning five of seven, could face the Kings for the first time since they traded him to Edmonton on Jan. 15. Scrivens, who signed a two-year contract extension with the Oilers on Monday, went 7-5-4 with a 1.97 GAA in 19 games for Los Angeles this season.
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