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The Los Angeles Kings went the entire 2006-07 season without a three-game winning streak. After a slow start this season, they seem to have turned their fortunes around.
The Kings (5-6-0) go for their fourth win in a row and a .500 record when they play host to the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night.
Los Angeles has won three straight and four of five after struggling at the start of the new season, which began with a split of a two-game series against defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim in London. The Kings have outscored their opponents 12-3 during their winning streak, including a 2-1 victory over Pacific Division rival Dallas on Thursday.
"It was maybe a little frustrating at the start of the season, but we stayed pretty levelheaded and it's worked out for us," Kings forward Brian Willsie said. "We thought the things we were doing were the right things and we stuck with them. And they're paying off now."
Willsie tied the game at 1 in the second period and Alexander Frolov scored for the third consecutive game to put the Kings ahead for good early in the third. Los Angeles is on its longest winning streak since a five-game run from Feb. 11-March 7, 2006.
"It's a great feeling. That was a big win for this locker room," center Anze Kopitar said. "It's a great confidence builder for us."
A resurgent Frolov has been a big factor recently. After tallying career highs with 35 goals and 36 assists last season, he had just one assist in the Kings first four games. He has three goals and six assists during a seven-game points streak.
"Frolov's one of the better players in the league, and we need him to play like that," goaltender Jason LaBarbera said. "I mean, when he wants to play, he's awesome. He's picked it up a lot lately, and it makes it a lot easier on everyone else when a guy like that is playing at his best."
Frolov has just three goals and 10 points in 16 career games against the Oilers (4-6-0). He had two goals and three assists to lead Los Angeles to a 2-1-1 record against Edmonton last season.
The Oilers are coming off of a 5-4 shootout win over Minnesota on Thursday. Ales Hemsky scored twice in regulation and added the shootout winner to snap a two-game skid.
The game winner in the shootout came after Hemsky lost the handle on the puck, only to have it sneak through the legs of Wild goalie Josh Harding.
"I kind of lost it there but it went in anyway," said Hemsky, who recorded his first goals of the season after tallying 13 in 2006-07. "It's nice to get the break and have some luck. I'll take the goal, no question."
Raffi Torres had three assists in the win, but failed to score in four games against Los Angeles last season. Dustin Penner, who spent last season with Anaheim, has two goals and four assists in a five-game points streak versus the Kings.
Penner, who joined the Oilers after the Ducks refused to match five-year, $21.25 million offer sheet, has just two goals and three assists in 10 games.