With the longest winning streak in franchise history having been snapped, the Kings return home Wednesday night to face an Oilers team that’s trying to end a franchise-record 11-game road skid.
Los Angeles (36-20-3) had its nine-game run snapped Monday night, losing 4-2 at Anaheim. The Kings fell short after rallying from a three-goal deficit to beat Detroit 4-3 two days earlier.
It was Los Angeles’ first defeat since falling 2-1 Jan. 11 at San Jose.
Los Angeles now plays two games at home before the Olympic break. The Kings, winners of four straight at Staples Center, will first face a team with the league’s worst road record.
Edmonton (18-35-6) lost 3-2 to the Ducks on Wednesday, extending its skid and dropping to 7-19-2 away from home. The Oilers have matched their longest road winless streak, set in 1990-91 when they went 0-7 with four ties.
Edmonton hasn’t won away from Rexall Place since beating St. Louis 5-3 on Dec. 11—also the last time the Oilers have scored more than four goals in a game.
With a league-low 42 points, Edmonton will likely miss the postseason for the fourth straight year.
Los Angeles’ streak, meanwhile, has put it in good position to end a six-season playoff drought. The Kings, who had been barely holding on to playoff position, are fifth in the Western Conference, four points behind division-rival Phoenix.
Quick, the league leader with 34 wins, is one victory shy of tying Mario Lessard for the franchise’s single-season record set in 1981. A member of Team USA, Quick has helped the Kings win both meetings with the Oilers this season, and is 3-0-1 with a 1.48 goals-against average in four career games against them.
Kopitar has been held without a point in four straight games versus Edmonton, but is playing well entering this contest. After struggling toward the end of 2009, Kopitar has points in 15 of his last 18 games (11 goals, 12 assists).
He is the Kings’ top threat with 27 goals—10 on the power play—and 35 assists.
Dustin Penner(notes) leads the Oilers with 23 goals and 23 assists, but has been held off the scoresheet in 16 of his last 23 games, and has no points in three straight contests against the Kings. Edmonton has been held to two goals or fewer in 20 of its last 25 games.
“If we keep getting the chances, maybe we’ll get the confidence to start putting some in,” coach Pat Quinn said.
The lack of scoring has led to the Oilers’ 3-22-2 freefall. They’re in danger of finishing a season with the league’s worst record for the first time in their history.
A matchup with Los Angeles may not help matters. The Kings have earned points in 10 of their last 11 against the Oilers, going 7-1-3.