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Kings-Oilers Preview: Opportunity for Richardson

Since we last tangled with the Edmonton Oilers...

IN: Hartikainen, Schultz

OUT: Taylor Hall (season-ending shoulder surgery); Theo Peckham (concussion). The Oilers recalled Paajarvi from the AHL, but in a bizarre twist, he will not play, since they apparently did not receive clearance from the NHL. Belanger, Petrell, and Barker may be the scratches. I've read that Omark may also be a scratch, but Rich Hammond has him in the lineup.

Enemy Reading: The Copper & Blue

Possible lines:

Smyth-Nugent-Hopkins-Eberle
Hartikainen-Gagner-Hemsky
Omark-Horcoff-Jones
Hordichuk-VandeVelde-Eager

Smid-Petry
Whitney-Schultz
Sutton-Potter

Khabibulin

Kings lineup:

Richardson-Kopitar-Brown
King-Richards-Williams
Penner-Stoll-Lewis
Clifford-Fraser-Nolan

Scuderi-Doughty
Mitchell-Voynov
Martinez-Greene

Jonathan Quick

Carter's ankle is healing up, causing the first major re-shuffling since the trade. Brad Richardson now has a golden opportunity to impress. This speedy forward saw former linemate Trevor Lewis rise in favor while he watched from the sidelines. Though he has had strong even strength possession numbers, he needs to add a scoring touch to go along with it to keep his spot.

The last time the Kings played in Edmonton was also in the middle of a rough travel schedule, but they must play with more focus this time around. The Oilers have been winning lately, and have also improved their scoring chance differential. A regulation win by LA would distance them from the Sharks, and kick their chances of making the playoffs up around 90%.

Make this game count.