Edmonton (11-11-2) at Los Angeles (10-11-3)

Cloudy Currently: Los Angeles, CA
Temp: 71° F
  • Game info: 10:30 pm EST Fri Dec 5, 2008
  • TV: RSW, FSW
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The last time the Los Angles Kings faced the Edmonton Oilers, Kings goaltender Jason LaBarbera made his first start in 25 days and responded with his first win in more than a month.

Given LaBarbera’s success against the Oilers, the Kings could look to him again Friday at home versus Edmonton.

LaBarbera has a 4-6-1 record and is 1-3-1 in the past six starts. Against the Oilers, however, the he is 4-0-0 with a 1.00 goals-against average and made 23 saves against them in a 2-1 victory Nov. 26.

Also, the Kings goalie has split time with Erik Ersberg in the last four games. Ersberg suffered a 4-2 defeat Tuesday at Phoenix, and it would be LaBarbera’s turn if Los Angeles continues the rotation.

LaBarbera came into this season as the Kings starter with Ersberg as the backup, but the roles were reversed by last month as LaBarbera got off to a slow start. Ersberg, though, has gone 1-2-1 in his last four starts with a 3.36 GAA and couldn’t protect a pair of one-goal leads in Tuesday’s defeat.

The Kings, who are 2-3-1 over their last six, also blew an early lead in a 3-1 loss to Toronto the night before, and lost an early one-goal lead Saturday to Chicago before rallying for a 5-2 win.

“Two games in a row we’ve blown a one-goal lead in the third,” captain Dustin Brown said. “We fell asleep.”

Alexander Frolov scored for the fifth time in the last six games, but was benched during the third period for a defensive lapse that led to the game-tying goal. Frolov, who has a three-game goal-scoring streak and a team-high 10 goals, has not recorded a point in his last four games against Edmonton.

The Oilers (11-11-2) have also struggled of late, going 3-5-1 in their last nine. Like the Kings, they turned to a former starting goalie for the first time in weeks Wednesday against Dallas.

Mathieu Garon, making his first start since being pulled in a 5-4 defeat at Pittsburgh on Nov. 6, stopped 23 of 25 shots in a 5-2 win.

“It was good to come back,” Garon said. “It’s been a while since I played and since I got a start. I worked really hard in the last two or three weeks to be ready for that game.”

Garon started five of Edmonton’s first seven games and won his first three. He then lost his next four decisions and was pulled after allowing five goals in 33:03 at Pittsburgh. The slump cost him as both Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers and Dwayne Roloson moved ahead of him on the depth chart.

Ales Hemsky had a goal and an assist in Wednesday’s game, extending his points streak to six games. Hemsky, the team’s leader with 26 points, has six goals and 10 assists in his last 10 meetings with Los Angeles.

The Kings are 4-1-1 in their last six game versus the Oilers and 2-0-2 in the last four at the Staples Center.

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Friday, Dec 5