Previewing the Los Angeles Kings’ 2012-13 season:
Game 14 @ Edmonton, February 19, 2013, 7pm PST (10pm EST)
On January 24, the Los Angeles Kings entered Edmonton’s Rexall Place on the verge of shutting out the upstart Oilers. But then, rookie Nail Yakupov scored a memorable goal in the dying seconds of regulation and followed it up with an even-more-memorable celebratory slide across the ice. The momentum was suddenly in Edmonton’s favour and they won in overtime leaving the Kings heartbroken and dejected.
Fast-forward three-and-a-half weeks later and the Kings are back in Edmonton with every hope of avenging that devastating loss last month. It’s the Kings and the Oilers in their second of three meetings this season and the home team will do whatever they can to avoid a series split.
Entering action on Tuesday night, Los Angeles and Edmonton are hovering around the same point in the West standings. For the Kings, they sit in 14th with a 5-6-2 record and 12 points. The Oilers, three points ahead of their rivals from SoCal, are 6-5-3, which, as we speak, is good enough for 12th in the conference. Needless to say, both clubs have nowhere to go but up.
While their numbers are fairly close, the Oilers do hold a slight advantage over the Kings this season in goals for per game with 2.43 to 2.23, goals against per game with 2.64 to 2.69, power play percentage with 23.9 to 15.0 and penalty-kill percentage with 86.8 to 81.0. But don’t expect the Kings to be deterred – this is going to be anybody’s game.
With that said, the Kings will have their hands full trying to contain the Oilers’ onslaught which, despite tapering off a bit lately, are expected to start scoring again at any time. Sam Gagner and Taylor Hall lead the Oilers in points with 15 with Jordan Eberle, Ales Hemsky and the rookie Yakupov not too far behind.
It’s unknown at this point who will start in goal for the Kings (or the Oilers for that matter) but let’s have faith that whichever netminder Darryl Sutter goes with is the right choice and of course, let’s hope the Kings can finally get off to a strong start.
Enjoy the game!