|LAK||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||3|
|EDM||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||1|
The Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings have been among the Western Conference's worst teams for most of the season, but they're both playing quality hockey right now.
The Kings look to win their third straight game while the Oilers hope to finish off a perfect five-game homestand when the teams meet Tuesday at Rexall Place.
The Oilers (21-21-4) remain in last place in the Northwest Division, but they have won four in a row for the first time since a five-game streak in November 2006.
They beat Calgary 2-1 on Sunday, a win Edmonton center Shawn Horcoff called "a big step" and coach Craig MacTavish called "as complete a game as we have played from start to finish this season."
"We're playing better," MacTavish said. "This was a really solid game for us. It was another one-goal win but at the same time it wasn't indicative of some of the other ones where we are trying to hang on at the end. We had lots of chances in the third period to widen the lead."
Horcoff had a goal and an assist for Edmonton, and has scored two points in each game of the winning streak for a total of three goals and five assists. Overall this season, he leads the Oilers with 19 goals and 43 points.
Goalie Mathieu Garon, who played two years for the Kings before signing with Edmonton last offseason, has a 1.23 goals-against average during the homestand. He has made six straight starts, supplanting former starter Dwayne Roloson, and had 27 saves against the Flames.
"It was a huge win," Garon said. "We wanted to win as much as possible on this homestand and right now we are doing a really good job. I think the way everyone is playing, there is so much confidence right now."
After Tuesday's game, the Oilers play five in a row on the road.
The Kings (17-27-2) have played their last six at home, and are beginning a three-game tour of western Canada. They own the league's worst record, but have won two straight including a 4-3 shootout win over Dallas on Saturday.
Dallas took an early 2-0 lead, but Kings goalie Jason LaBarbera stopped 18 of the Stars' last 19 shots and three of four shootout attempts, ending his up-and-down week on a positive note.
Last Tuesday against Nashville, LaBarbera was pulled after just 6:40 when he allowed three goals on seven shots in an eventual 7-0 loss, but he rebounded to make a career-high 48 saves in a 5-2 win over Toronto on Thursday.
"The biggest thing is staying positive," said LaBarbera, who is 2-0-0 with a 1.00 GAA lifetime against Edmonton. "When you get down two goals, before I would be negative. And you can't play that way. The rest of the game I tried to stay upbeat, not worry about what the score was, and just focus on the rest of the game and helping the team win."
The Kings lost 4-3 in a shootout at home to Garon and the Oilers on Dec. 3, one of Edmonton's 11 wins in 13 shootouts this season.
Los Angeles beat the Oilers 4-1 on Oct. 27 - also at home - but the Kings have lost four of their last five at Edmonton.
|Feb 28 '08||LAK 4 at EDM 5||F. Pisani|
|Jan 15 '08||LAK 3 at EDM 1||D. Brown|
|Dec 03 '07||EDM 4 at LAK 3 - SO||S. Gagner|
|Oct 27 '07||EDM 1 at LAK 4||L. Nagy|