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GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers @ Los Angeles Kings

With second place in their grasp, the Oilers now look to make some space between themselves and tonight’s opponent in LA

NHL: Los Angeles Kings at Edmonton Oilers Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton Oilers (41-25-5, 2nd, Pacific)

Los Angeles Kings (38-24-10, 3rd, Pacific)

07 April 2022

Crypto.Com Arena

830 PM MT

TV: Sportsnet One

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Jewels From The Crown

FIVE ALIVE, ONE MORE TIME

Leon Draisaitl was absent from the lineup, but it was Mike Smith who played his best game of the season in Monday’s 2-1 overtime win over the San Jose Sharks. Connor McDavid took a pass from Smith early in OT that eluded Sharks defenceman Brent Burns, and McDavid dropped it off right behind James Reimer’s doorstep to seal two points for Edmonton. Smith stopped 31 of 32 shots in a game where the Oilers were largely outplayed, especially in the second period.

The Oilers are now outright owners of second place, and they’ll continue to own second place with any kind of win tonight. They’re looking to collect their sixth win in a row, can they take down the Kings once more?

Let’s go to the tape.

THE OILERS ARE SAYING

“I thought our team showed a little bit of resiliency...I didn’t think it was our smoothest game or cleanest game. But down by one heading into the third period, finding a way to win in overtime in dramatic fashion, it’s a credit to our stick-to-itiveness and the hard work of all those players in that dressing room.”

Source

That’s Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft after his club’s 2-1 OT win over the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night.

San Jose was in the driver’s seat for much of the game, especially in the second period. Credit to Mike Smith for turning in his best performance of the season in this one. A shorty from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins helps too. That, and the OT goal from McDavid. Good things come in threes.

THE KINGS ARE SAYING

“We put some pressure on them, we made them penalty kill, so, again, it’s that fine line.”

Source

That’s Kings head coach Todd McLellan after his club’s 3-2 loss to the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night.

Johnny Gaudreau picked up a pair to help lead the Calgary Flames to a win over the Kings on Tuesday. Though Calgary put more space in between themselves and Edmonton, LA’s loss keeps them out of second place. At least, out of second place for tonight. LA will no doubt be pushing tonight to wrestle second place away from the Oilers.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • Credit to Mike Smith where it’s due: Smith was absolutely the reason that the Oilers were able to hang around for Tuesday’s 2-1 overtime victory against the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks tried to take over in the second, but Smith stood tall. His pass to Connor McDavid in overtime was just right. Consistency has been the issue all season.
  • The Kings are still missing key players from their defence corps, though they’re hanging tough since these two teams met last week. LA is 2-1 since facing the Oilers back on March 30th, they’ve yielded seven goals in three games. Two of those games were against Calgary, who is pretty good this year from what we hear.
  • Jonathan Quick (17-12-9, .909 SV% / 2.66 GAA / 2 SO) is scheduled to get the nod for LA in goal tonight. I’ve got Mikko Koskinen (25-10-3, .902 SV% / .902 SV% / 3.10 GAA / 1 SO) going for the Oilers, though the Oilers look like they’re turning back to Mike Smith (10-9-2, .901 SV% / 3.24 GAA) tonight.
  • Leon Draisaitl is expected to be back in the lineup tonight after missing Tuesday’s game with a lower body injury. Hopeful they get Ryan Nugent-Hopkins back on the third line with Derek Ryan.
  • Any win for the Oilers will keep them in second place. Oilers will be back in action on Saturday against a 50-win Avalanche club, two points would go far tonight.