Now that the Los Angeles Kings have finally snapped their worst losing streak of the season, they get a rematch against the team that began the skid.
The Kings go for back-to-back victories when they visit the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.
Alexander Frolov scored twice Friday, including the game-winner in overtime, to lift Los Angeles to a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks. The victory snapped a seven-game losing streak during which the Kings (17-28-6) were outscored 28-14 and thwarted only 30 of 40 opponent power-play chances.
The slump began with a 2-1 overtime loss to the Oilers (23-22-4) on Jan. 8, when Jan Hejda scored 1:14 into the extra session. The Kings won the only other matchup between the teams this season, 7-4 on Dec. 28, but Edmonton has taken four of the last five meetings overall.
Los Angeles looked like a team determined to end its slide Friday, scoring two goals in the first 13 minutes and putting 43 shots - its most since Nov. 4 - on net.
“We would have taken a win against Vancouver College boys team,” Kings coach March Crawford said, “but beating the Canucks, who have played so well, especially here, and in overtime, where they’ve been almost unbeatable, is pretty gratifying for sure.”
It was especially gratifying for Crawford, who faced his former team for the first time since being fired from Vancouver last summer. Kings goaltender Sean Burke made 37 saves for his first win since being claimed off waivers from Tampa Bay on Jan. 18.
Despite the victory, Los Angeles failed to score a power-play goal for the fourth straight game, going 0-for-21 during that span. Ending the drought may be a challenge, as the Oilers’ 87.3 penalty-killing percentage ranks second in the NHL behind the Canucks (88.6).
Oilers right wing Fernando Pisani scored first Friday, but Edmonton then allowed five unanswered en route to a 5-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks. The Oilers, who were outshot 38-21 by the Sharks, have been outscored 9-1 in back-to-back losses.
“We have to find a way to put it together here,” said left wing Ryan Smyth, who assisted on Pisani’s goal for his 37th point. “The bottom line is we have to compete. We need some extra intensity.
“We don’t have to be great, we just have to be good. … We are thinking too much instead of just playing the game.”
The Oilers are playing the fourth of five straight home games, but haven’t been very good there lately. They began the season 12-4-1 at Rexall Place, but since then have dropped seven of their last nine at home.
Even with Friday’s victory, the Kings have just six wins along with 16 regulation losses on the road this season - both the worst marks in the Western Conference.
Jarret Stoll, who has 37 points this season, was back on the ice for Edmonton Friday after being sidelined one game with a fractured nose.