The Los Angeles Kings opened a home-heavy portion of their schedule last month with a victory over the Edmonton Oilers. They are hoping for a similar result to end a slump before hitting the road.
Los Angeles closes out its season-high eight-game homestand Saturday night when it faces an Oilers team that's been playing better of late.
Opening a stretch of 10 of 12 at Staples Center, the Kings (23-19-1) snapped a five-game home losing streak to Edmonton (14-21-7) on Dec. 23 with a 3-2 shootout victory. The Oilers had won in the tiebreaker in their previous five visits to Los Angeles.
Following a 4-1 victory over Anaheim on Dec. 26 gave them their best home start in franchise history at 13-2-1, however, the Kings have dropped six of seven on their extended stretch at Staples Center.
Once atop the Western Conference, Los Angeles dropped into a tie for 10th following Thursday's 3-1 loss to St. Louis.
"We'll find a way through this together, but not one or two guys is going to do it," forward Ryan Smyth told the Kings' official website. "Yes, guys have got to step up and raise their level of play, for sure, but it's going to be with everybody in this locker room.
"Everybody wants to win. There's a sense of urgency and a winning attitude, but it's finding it and playing with confidence and building one period or one shift at a time to carry forth into the next and then into the game situations when you're winning."
While Los Angeles is trying to get back on track before playing 13 of 16 away from home, the Oilers are looking to build momentum after snapping a five-game road skid Thursday with a 5-2 victory over San Jose. Rookie Taylor Hall scored twice and added an assist and Alex Hemsky tied a career best with four assists to help Edmonton improve to 1-2-0 on its five-game trip.
"It was a fun night," Hall said after netting his team-high 14th goal. "It could have been a huge night, but first and foremost we played well as a team and got the win."
Seeking back-to-back victories for the first time since a season-high four-game run from Nov. 29-Dec. 4, the Oilers will look for a better effort from their power-play unit. Edmonton is 0 for 27 with the man advantage over its last nine games since Hall scored in the second period of last month's loss in Los Angeles.
The Kings have killed just 13 of 19 penalties on their homestand.
Los Angeles coach Terry Murray could give backup goaltender Jonathan Bernier his first start versus the Oilers over Jonathan Quick, who is 1-5-0 with a 3.87 goals-against average in his last six starts.
Quick, though, is 4-0-2 with a 1.77 GAA lifetime versus Edmonton after making 27 saves and stopping five of six tiebreak attempts in the Dec. 23 contest.
Edmonton coach Tom Renney will likely give Devan Dubnyk a second straight start after he made a season-high 41 saves Thursday. Dubnyk turned away 27 shots in last month's defeat at Staples Center.
Los Angeles has a point in nine straight games versus Edmonton (5-0-4) since a 5-4 regulation defeat Feb. 28, 2008.
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