The Edmonton Oilers are clinging to the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot.
They’ll try to solidify their standing against one of the two postseason contenders chasing them when they face the slumping Los Angeles Kings.
Edmonton’s 84 points are three more than 10th-place Los Angeles and two ahead of the San Jose Sharks. The Oilers have won two of three against the Kings this season, including a 5-3 win in their last meeting on Jan. 26.
The Oilers look to rebound from Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild, their fourth defeat in six games. The Oilers fell out of a seventh-place tie in the West with Vancouver on Wednesday, as the Canucks defeated Minnesota.
Edmonton let a 2-1 second-period lead get away against the Wild, squandering a chance to gain a share of the lead in the tightly-packed Northwest Division.
“It’s another example that you have to take care of every aspect of our game,” Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. “Otherwise it ends up being a loss.”
The Kings have dropped six of their last eight games after losing 2-1 at Calgary on Wednesday.
“The team really competed well but the bottom line is we needed the two points,” said Kings coach John Torchetti, who is 1-2 since taking over for the fired Andy Murray.
Craig Conroy scored Los Angeles’ lone goal against the Flames with 4:30 to play.
“We’re not happy with our effort (Wednesday), but you’ve got to get your head back up and win a game (Thursday),” Kings forward Mike Cammalleri said. “We’ve got to be better.”