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Preview: Game Day #80, Kings @ Oilers

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Edmonton might want to tank, but let's not take any chances.

Tyler Bunz: gone, but not forgotten.
Tyler Bunz: gone, but not forgotten.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles KingsEdmonton Oilers (Rexall Place)

Time: 6:30 PM PST

TV: Prime Ticket, SportsNet West

Enemy Reading: Copper & Blue

Lineups:

Los Angeles Kings

Gaborik–Kopitar–Williams
King–Carter–Toffoli
Brown–Stoll–Lewis
Clifford–Shore–Nolan

Muzzin–Doughty
Regehr–Martinez
McNabb–Greene

Quick
(Jones)

Scratched: Richards, McBain, Andreoff; Injured: Pearson, Sekera; Suspended: Voynov

Edmonton Oilers

Pouliot–Hall–Eberle
Purcell–Roy–Yakupov
Fraser–Lander–Pitlick
Gazdic–Hendricks–Klinkhammer

Klefbom–Schultz
Marincin–Musil
Davidson–Aulie

Bachman
(Scrivens)

Scratched: None; Injured: Nugent-Hopkins, Nikitin, Fasth, Ference, Fayne, Pakarinen, Gordon


Obligatory Standings Update (as of April 7, 2015)


Pacific Division Standings
Rank Team DIV GP W L OT P ROW
1 Anaheim P 80
50
23 7 107
42
2 Vancouver P 80 46
29 5
97 40
3 Calgary P 79 43
29 7 93
39
4 Los Angeles P 79
39 25 15 93
37

Wild Card Standings
Rank Team DIV GP W L OT P ROW
1 Minnesota C 79 44 27 8
96 40
2 Winnipeg C 79
41
26 12 94
33
3
Los Angeles P 79
39 25 15 93
37

(top three seeds in Pacific Division, top two seeds in Wild Card qualify for playoffs)

Game Notes:

  • Here we go again; one point out, but still in control of our own destiny.
  • Jonathan Quick? Martin Jones? It's anyone's guess. The argument for Martin Jones is that goalies often struggle on the second game of a back-to-back set, and Quick has started 33 of the previous 34 contests. The argument for Jonathan Quick is literally every other possible argument.
  • We know Edmonton's starter, though, and it's Richard Bachmann, who has experience in dealing the Kings painful losses. He stopped 37 of 39 shots and triumphed in a shootout against the Kings on December 30.
  • In the Oilers' three non-Bachmann games (Fasth, Scrivens, Scrivens) against LA, they gave up 19 goals.
  • I don't think anyone was dissatisfied with the performance against Vancouver. We're still awaiting word on lineup changes tonight; other than Martin Jones, I think Mike Richards is the only scratch who has a chance of sneaking in. I still don't think he'll play.
  • LA hasn't been a true above-.500 team since December 11, when they stood at 15-9-5 after a win over Ottawa. Since then, they've gotten back up to exactly .500 four times, and lost each time. Before yesterday, they were essentially 39-39.
  • It seems futile to try and break this game down too much further. The Oilers are terrible. They have as many wins as Buffalo and fewer than Arizona. They have nothing to play for other than avoiding a last-place finish in the West, which -- let's be honest -- they probably wouldn't mind doing if it helped them draft Jack Eichel. It's a no-excuses game in every sense.
  • Today's player-who-needs-to-do-more: Trevor Lewis, who's been stuck on nine goals since March 3. You want to be a double-digit NHL scorer? Make it happen!
    (The good news: that goal on March 3 was against the Oilers.)
  • PREDICTION: LA and Calgary handle Edmonton and Arizona, setting up the mother of all Pacific Division showdowns on Thursday evening.