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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, December 17th (All times Eastern)
Edmonton Oilers (11-21-3) at Los Angeles Kings (22-8-4), 10:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Coming off their first loss of the month, the Los Angeles Kings open up a four-game homestand on Tuesday night with a visit from the Edmonton Oilers.
The Kings opened up December by winning a season-high six straight before getting bested by the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday, 3-1. All three Chicago goals came in the first period and Los Angeles did not answer until defenseman Alec Martinez tallied with 3:54 to play.
Ben Scrivens made 37 saves in defeat, which also snapped a 10-game road point streak.
Sunday's loss also marked the first time in 19 games that the Kings allowed a goal in the first period.
"Definitely not the start that we wanted," said Kings forward Anze Kopitar. "It's hard when you play catch up. Especially three goals, it's quite a bit to overcome against that kind of team. It's no secret we that lost the game in the first period."
Scrivens was making his first appearance since a win over St. Louis on Dec. 2. Martin Jones had started the last five games of the Kings' win streak, posting a 0.99 goals against average, .967 save percentage and two shutouts to begin his NHL career.
Neither Scrivens or Jones has faced the Oilers.
Edmonton comes in looking to avoid a fourth loss in a row and win for the first time on a four-game road trip. The Oilers have lost the first two contests of the trek, including Sunday's 3-2 loss to Anaheim.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Sam Gagner tallied for the Oilers, while Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 31 shots in his first appearance since suffering a head and neck injury on Dec. 1.
Bryzgalov gave up the winning goal with 3:17 to play after Dustin Penner fired home a one-touch pass from Ryan Getzlaf, but head coach Dallas Eakins didn't have many negative things to say after the game.
"You're always disappointed when you lose, but I can't find a whole lot wrong with our game there. I thought right to a man, our guys played excellent. That's the league. It's a game of mistakes, but I thought our mistakes tonight were honest ones," said Eakins.
Oilers defenseman Corey Potter did receive a five-minute major and game misconduct for checking from behind 5:40 into the second period. He had a phone hearing with the league on Monday and was suspended for two games.
The Kings have gone 5-0-1 in their last six versus the Oilers, including a 2-1 shootout victory at home on Oct. 27. They have also won three straight and five of their last six at home versus Edmonton.
Bryzgalov is 14-6-4 with a 2.32 GAA in his career when facing Los Angeles.
12/17 10:51:50 ET
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