The Kings slid out of the Western Conference playoff picture after losing their last game against Dallas on Thursday. L.A. has compiled 71 points through 61 games this season, putting them one point behind the St. Louis Blues for the final wild card spot in the West. The Kings are one of seven teams with between 74 and 71 points fighting for playoff positioning down the stretch of the NHL regular season.
McDavid tallies OT winner vs. Avalanche
Edmonton defeated Colorado 3-2 in overtime on Thursday night behind another big game from Connor McDavid. McDavid scored at 2:19 in the overtime period to help the Oilers escape with a win after squandering another 2-0 lead. The Oilers’ captain finished with a goal and an assist, while Leon Draisaitl and Zack Kassian also scored goals for Edmonton in the win. Cam Talbot stopped 28 of the 30 shots he faced on the night to earn his 21st victory of the season.
Talbot is expected to be in between the pipes once again for the Oilers on Saturday. He comes in with a 21-23-2 overall record to go along with a 3.09 GAA and a .903 save percentage for the season. The Oilers’ goaltender has been a little bit more vulnerable on the road this year, going just 8-12-0 with a 2.95 GAA and a .903 save percentage away from home this season.
Edmonton comes in ranked 22nd in the NHL in goals per game at 2.8 per contest and 27th in the league in goals against at 3.3 per game.
Special teams has also been a major problem for the Oilers all season long. The team has converted on just 14.3 percent of their power play opportunities (30th in the NHL) and killed only 72.4 percent of their penalties for the season (31st in the NHL).
Kings fall out of Western Conference playoff picture
The Kings failed to keep pace in a heated Western Conference playoff race on Thursday night, falling at home to the Dallas Stars 2-0. Jonathan Quick stopped 26 of the 27 shots he faced on the night, but the Kings were unable to solve Stars’ backup goaltender Kari Lehtonen, who earned his first shutout of the season. Despite facing a Stars’ team that was on the second night of a back-to-back, the Kings were outshot 28-18 and seemed to be the team that lacked energy throughout the game.
Quick is projected to be the goaltender once again on Saturday night against the Oilers. Quick comes in with a 23-22-2 overall record this season to go along with a 2.45 GAA and a .922 save percentage. He is just 9-9-2 in 20 home starts this year.
The Kings enter Saturday’s matchup ranked second in the NHL in goals against at just 2.5 per game and fifth in the league in penalty killing percentage at 83.0 percent.
- Oilers are 0-4 in their last 4 when their opponent allows 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Oilers are 0-5 in their last 5 vs. Pacific.
- Kings are 5-0 in their last 5 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Kings are 5-1 in their last 6 vs. a team with a losing record.
Every game from here on out will be like a playoff game for the Kings. This is a team that has put together late season runs before, so I wouldn’t count L.A. out of the Western Conference playoff picture just yet. Edmonton enters this game with just two wins in their last nine contests, while the Kings come in having won three of their last four. Take L.A. to avenge Thursday’s home loss to the Stars and come away with a win against Edmonton on Saturday night.