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Oilers Host Kings In Divisional Matchup

Just seven points separate first and fifth place in the Pacific Division

Peter Budaj has had a fine season for the Kings so far.
Peter Budaj has had a fine season for the Kings so far.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles


oilers logo black text
17-14-4 38 points, 1.086 p/g- Ranks 18-12-6, 42 points, 1.167 p/g
Pacific Division - 5\th Pacific Division - 2nd
16th Points / Game 12th
15th Special Teams 10th
10th Shots on Goal 6th
6th Goal 14th
TV - Sportsnet West
Radio - 630 CHED
Rogers Place

The opposing view

Milan Lucic - Connor McDavid - Jordan Eberle
Patrick Maroon - Leon Draisaitl - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
Benoit Pouliot -  Drake Caggiula - Jesse Puljujarvi
Matt Hendricks - Mark Letestu - Zack Kassian


Oscar Klefbom - Adam Larsson
Kris Russell - Matt Benning
Brandon Davidson - Eric Gryba

Cam Talbot
Jonas Gustavsson

Firmly In Second

The holiday break has come and gone, and the Oilers have emerged on the other side firmly entrenched in second place in the Pacific.  The Sharks lead the division with 45 points (and have a game in hand), while Anaheim sits one point behind Edmonton with  points.  Edmonton has had the last couple of days off, but remain in second place in the Pacific with 42 points.  They'll have a chance to get closer to the Sharks with a victory against the Kings tonight.

Sitting in fifth place in the Pacific, the Kings trail the Oilers by just four points.   Can the Oilers apply some pressure to the first-place Sharks with a win over the Kings?

Let's go to the tape.

The Oilers are saying

That's Oilers forward Matt Hendricks on Edmonton being in the chase for the playoffs.

It's the end of December, and the Oilers are right there, man.  A win would bring them to within one point of first place in the division.  We're not going to discuss any other alternatives at this point.  Just win, baby.

The opponents are saying

That's Kings defenceman Drew Doughty with a fancy sports cliché after his team's 2-1 loss to Vancouver last night.

This one looks good for the Oilers, yeah?  Team on the back end of a back-to-back, in Vancouver last night, no doubt a little tired, and the Oilers are coming off a ton of rest.  There's absolutely nothing that could go wrong here.

Have some of this

  • LINE SWITCH: Andej Sekera will miss tonight's game with the grippe.  Matt Benning will be filling in.  Tonight will be Benning's first action since December 17th.  .
  • Here's a fun list of average times on ice for Oiler defenders.  Pick any part of this and begin itching.
    1. Andrej Sekera (21:44)
    2. Kris Russell (21:28)
    3. Oscar Klefbom (21:26)
    4. Adam Larsson (20:10)
    5. Darnell Nurse (17:40)
    6. Eric Gryba (17:02)
    7. Matt Benning (16:33)
  • Cam Talbot will go again tonight for the Oilers (17-10-4, .917 SV% / 2.52 GAA / 3 SO).  Peter Budaj (15-9-3, .919 SV% / 4 SO) played last night in Vancouver, but I'd be somewhat surprised to see Jeff Zatkoff going tonight for the Kings.
  • Iiro Pakarinen (knee), Mark Fayne (groin), Tyler Pitlick (knee), Andrej Sekera (flu), and Darnell Nurse (lower body) will be out for the Oilers. The Kings are without Kyle Clifford (upper body), Tyler Toffoli (lower body), and defenceman Brayden McNabb (arm).  Goaltender Jonathan Quick (groin) is also out indefinitely.