Game 14 Preview: Los Angeles at Edmonton - LA Kings Insider

This is the second of three meetings between Los Angeles and Edmonton this season. On January 24, the Oilers defeated the Kings 2-1 in overtime at Rexall Place. After tonight, the two teams will meet at Staples Center on Saturday, April 6.

Lots more after the jump…

Edmonton has won two of three after going winless in a 0-2-3 stretch. The only current playoff teams the Oilers have defeated this season are Vancouver and Phoenix. In their most recent outing, they took a team-record 56 shots on goal and erased a 3-0 deficit – and a 4-3 deficit after two – with three third period goals to defeat Colorado 6-4. Taylor Hall had three assists and took eight shots in the game, while Jordan Eberle took seven. Nikholai Khabibulin replaced Devan Dubnyk in goal for the start of the second period and stopped 16 of 17 shots for the victory.

The 40-year old Khabibulin will draw the start tonight and is 20-12-1 lifetime against Los Angeles with one tie. He has posted a 2.45 goals against average and .913 save percentage in his career against the Kings. In his last outing against L.A., he stopped 28 of 32 shots in a 4-1 Kings victory at Rexall Place on March 30, 2012.

Los Angeles is expected to go with Jonathan Quick in net. Quick is 7-1-4 lifetime against Edmonton with a 1.63 GAA and .938 Sv%. In his outing at Rexall Place on January 24, Quick stopped 37 of 39 shots through 63 minutes before he was beaten on Sam Gagner’s game-winner.

Tuesday’s game is the third game of a season-long five-game homestand for the Oilers, who are 1-1-0 in the stretch thus far. Tonight marks Los Angeles’ first game following six consecutive games against the Central Division, a stretch in which they went 3-3-0. L.A. is 1-1-1 against the Northwest Division thus far, defeating Vancouver, losing in regulation to Colorado and losing in overtime to Edmonton.

Rankings and Statistics:
Goals/Game: LAK – 27 / 2.23; EDM – 24 / 2.43
Goals Against/Game: LAK – t-16 / 2.69; EDM – 15 / 2.64
Power Play: LAK – 24 / 15.0%; EDM – 7 / 23.9%
Penalty Kill: LAK – 18 / 81.0%; EDM – 4 / 86.8%
Shots/Game: LAK – t-14 / 29.2; EDM – t-16 / 29.0
Shots Against/Game: LAK – 2 / 24.9; EDM – 29 / 33.3
Faceoffs: LAK – 22 / 48.8%; EDM – 28 / 45.9%

Projected Lines – Los Angeles

Kyle Clifford – Anze Kopitar – Dustin Brown
Dwight King – Mike Richards – Jeff Carter
Dustin Penner – Jarret Stoll – Justin Williams
Jordan Nolan – Colin Fraser– Trevor Lewis

Keaton Ellerby – Drew Doughty
Rob Scuderi – Slava Voynov
Jake Muzzin – Davis Drewiske

Jonathan Quick
Jonathan Bernier

Notes: Significant changes in the Kings’ lineup have occurred for the second time in two and a half weeks, with the largest adjustment being Kyle Clifford slotted alongside Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown on the club’s top line. Mike Richards and Jeff Carter are interchangeable on the second line; expect Carter (53.5% on faceoffs; right shot) to step in for Richards (45.3%; left shot) occasionally, as both are more comfortable going with a forehand on their strong sides. On the fourth line, Colin Fraser could slot to the left wing to allow Trevor Lewis to step in at center, though I’m projecting Fraser, who hasn’t played since the loss in Nashville on February 7, to see the majority of the time at center. As always, line pairings are educated assessments and not definite alignments.

Projected Lines – Edmonton

Taylor Hall – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Jordan Eberle
Teemu Hartikainen – Sam Gagner – Ales Hemsky
Ryan Smyth – Eric Belanger – Nail Yakupov
Ben Eager – Chris VandeVelde – Magnus Paajarvi

Nick Schultz – Justin Schultz
Ryan Whitney – Jeff Petry
Ladislav Smid – Mark Fistric

Nikolai Khabibulin
Devan Dubnyk

Notes: Nail Yakupov also operates a point on the Oilers’ top power play unit. Edmonton’s special teams are strong, with the power play ranking seventh in the league and the penalty kill ranking fourth. As always, line pairings are educated assessments and not definite alignments.

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.