Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series tied 2-2

Game 1: Wednesday, November 25th
Game 2: Tuesday, December 15th
Game 3: Thursday, February 11th
Game 4: Saturday, April 10th

Kings 3

(14-9-2, 30 pts)

Oilers 1

(10-12-3, 23 pts)

9:30 PM ET, November 25, 2009

Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

1 2 3 T
LA 0 1 23
EDM 1 0 01

W. Simmonds (Kings - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

A. Cogliano (Oilers - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 0

A. Kopitar (Kings - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 0

Kings-Oilers Preview


The banged-up Los Angeles Kings desperately need a spark from somebody. Anze Kopitar would be the most obvious candidate.

With injuries mounting and goals sparse, the Kings hope their leading scorer can end his slump in a matchup with the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night.

Los Angeles (13-9-2) placed second-leading scorer Ryan Smyth (upper-body injury) on injured reserve Monday, and will likely be without the veteran left wing until December. Defenseman Rob Scuderi may be set to return after missing three straight games with a lower-body injury, but the Kings face the possibility of playing without center Jarret Stoll (lower-body injury) after he was injured in a 5-2 loss to Calgary on Saturday.

The defeat was the second straight for Los Angeles, which has dropped five of eight and scored two goals or fewer six times during that span.

"You either create a spark for your team or the penalty killers do their job and it gets their team jacked up," right wing Justin Williams told the Kings' official Web site. "It's not always necessarily scoring a goal. It's creating a lift, and hopefully a momentum swing, for your team."

Los Angeles has been getting little production of late from Kopitar, who leads the team with 14 goals and 19 assists. The fourth-year center had no goals and three assists in his last five games.

Kopitar, who had an assist against the Flames, last scored in a 4-1 loss to Chicago on Nov. 9. He was held without a point in two straight games versus the Oilers (10-11-3) last season after posting five goals and five assists in his previous six games against them.

Kings left wing Alexander Frolov went 10 straight games without a goal before scoring against Calgary. He had two goals and two assists in his last three contests against Edmonton.

Frolov has taken Smyth's spot on Los Angeles' top line.

Edmonton could be vulnerable with goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin expected to miss another week with a sore back, but Jeff Deslauriers made 36 saves for his first NHL shutout in a 4-0 win over Phoenix on Monday night.

Deslauriers made his third straight start in place of Khabibulin and bounced back from a shaky performance in a 5-2 loss to the Blackhawks on Saturday night.

Edmonton appears on the verge of breaking out offensively, scoring 12 goals in its last three games after being held to two or fewer in three straight contests.

Sheldon Souray and Ales Hemsky scored a team-record 7 seconds apart against the Coyotes in the first period.

"It's always great when you can pop two quickly in like that," center Ryan Potulny said. "Everyone feeds off that. It gives everyone a little bit more energy, a little bit more jump in our step."

Hemsky had three goals and four assists in his last seven games. He recorded three assists in Edmonton's two wins over Los Angeles last season.

The Kings won the other two meetings.