Preview: Oilers at Kings
With six goals and three assists in his last five games, Leon Draisaitl is doing his best to scribble his name next to captain Connor McDavid as the Edmonton Oilers' representatives for the upcoming NHL All-Star Game. Draisaitl, McDavid and company look to answer the Oilers' six-game losing skid with a second straight victory on Saturday when the team continues its four-game trek versus the Los Angeles Kings.
"It's a big road trip for us. When you're on a slide like that and you're about to face some divisional teams, it becomes even more important," Edmonton's Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said after seeing McDavid score two goals and set up another in Wednesday's 3-1 win over Arizona. McDavid recorded five straight multi-point performances (four goals, eight assists) and notched an assist in both contests versus Los Angeles in late November, with the Pacific Division rivals splitting the pair. The Kings followed a 5-1-1 mark by dropping their second straight decision with a 6-2 throttling by white-hot Tampa Bay on Thursday. Jonathan Quick is expected to try again for his 300th career win on Saturday after getting pierced for six goals against the Lightning.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, CBC, Sportsnet, Sportsnet360, CITY (Edmonton), FS West (Los Angeles)
ABOUT THE OILERS (19-18-3): Edmonton could be receiving a boost to its offense as Alex Chiasson is in line to return to the ice after he was hit on the side of the knee with a slap shot on Dec. 27. The 28-year-old, who has scored three goals versus the Kings this season, has 16 tallies in just 31 games despite averaging 15:48 of ice time. Chaisson's plus-6 rating trails only McDavid (plus-7) on the team while his five power-play goals are just one shy of the captain and Draisaitl.
ABOUT THE KINGS (16-23-3): Dustin Brown (team-leading 11 goals), who had an assist versus Tampa Bay, recorded a hat trick in Los Angeles' 5-2 win over Edmonton on Oct. 25 and tallied in a 3-2 setback to the Oilers four nights later. The 34-year-old Brown is expected to play in his 1,078th career game on Saturday to snap a tie with Hall of Famer Luc Robitaille for second-most in franchise history, just behind Dave Taylor (1,111). Captain Anze Kopitar, who has 299 career goals, also set up a goal against the Lightning to register a point in nine of his last 12 games and boost his team-leading total to 27.
1. Los Angeles D Drew Doughty's four goals this season have all come on the power play.
2. Nugent-Hopkins, who has three assists against the Kings this season, has 12 points (eight goals, four assists) in his last 13 games.
3. Kings C Alex Iafallo has collected just eight of his 21 points at home this season.
PREDICTION: Kings 2, Oilers 1