Kings Look For Continued Success Against Oilers In Edmonton

(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Kings salvaged a point in the first test of a mammoth road trip and will try to post a victory tonight when they visit the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place. The Kings had won three in a row before losing a 1-0 shootout decision in Minnesota on Tuesday. The game marked the first of 10 straight on the road for Los Angeles, which is just 10-13-1 as the visiting team this season.

With 56 points, LA is currently tied with Calgary and Colorado for 10th in the Western Conference standings. The clubs are just two points out of a playoff spot. The Kings were dealt the 1-0 setback in St. Paul after Pierre-Marc Bouchard scored in the second round of the shootout. After Anze Kopitar of the Kings and Minnesota's Martin Havlat were stopped in the first round, Niklas Backstrom made a sprawling toe save on LA's Jack Johnson to start the second.

Bouchard then nearly lost control of the puck, but quickly gathered it and tucked a backhander between the pads of Jonathan Bernier to give the Wild the advantage. Kings captain Dustin Brown needed to score to keep the game alive, but was not able to and the Wild celebrated the win. "He made a nice move," Bernier said. "At first he kind of lost the puck and I would like to get that one back."

It marked the third time Los Angeles has been shut out since the start of the New Year. The Oilers, who are last in the Western Conference with just 38 points on the year, are playing their first game after the All-Star break tonight. Edmonton entered the midseason hiatus having lost six of its last seven contests and the Oilers have posted just three victories in 18 games (3-12-3).

Edmonton dropped its last contests prior to the break, losing 3-1 last Wednesday in Dallas. Brenden Morrow tallied twice to lead the Stars to victory at American Airlines Center. Dustin Penner provided the lone offense for the Oilers and Nikolai Khabibulin allowed three goals on 21 shots for the loss.

"Tonight was one of those games where you could show your mettle and be a real mature team and accept the battle," Oilers head coach Tom Renney said after the game. "That's what good teams do. We need to grow up and understand the value of that." The Oilers are hoping to get a pair of key forwards back tonight as Ales Hemsky (concussion) and Jordan Eberle (ankle) are close to returning from their respective injuries. Both players were back at practice this week but are questionable for tonight.

Hemsky and Eberle were both forced to miss this past weekend's All-Star festivities due to the injuries. Hemsky was selected by the league for the All-Star Game, while Eberle was tabbed to be a part of the rookie group that participated in the SuperSkills event. Edmonton has lost three straight on home ice and is 7-13-4 at Rexall Place this season.

The Kings have taken both meetings with the Oilers this season, but tonight marks the first encounter in Edmonton. LA has won five of seven overall in the series and has claimed four in a row and five out of six at Rexall Place.

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