The Los Angeles Kings will continue their quest for a spot in the postseason tonight, when they visit the Edmonton Oilers for a clash at Rexall Place.
The Kings enter tonight tied with San Jose for the eighth seed in the Western Conference, but Los Angeles owns the current tiebreaker because it has played one less game than the Sharks. The Kings, who have five tests left in the regular season, will use that game in hand over San Jose tonight.
LA and the Sharks are also just one point behind Dallas and Phoenix for the Pacific Division title. The Stars play tonight in Vancouver, while the Coyotes are off after beating San Jose, 2-0, on Thursday.
Los Angeles had lost two straight games in regulation before earning a much- needed victory Wednesday night in Calgary. Jonathan Quick made 19 saves for his ninth shutout of the season and the Kings defeated the Flames, 3-0. Quick was tied with Rogie Vachon for the franchise's record for shutouts in a season before passing the mark set by Vachon set during the 1996-97 season.
"It's that time of the year where all you have time for is hockey," said Quick. "If you're thinking about anything else other than getting two points for your team then your priorities aren't in order."
Willie Mitchell, Dustin Brown and Justin Williams scored while Anze Kopitar had a pair of assists for Los Angeles, which is 17-13-8 as the road team this season and is playing the third test of a four-game swing tonight. The Kings will close the road trip Saturday in Minnesota.
The Oilers have been eliminated from playoff contention, but have actually been playing well down the stretch, going 5-1-2 over their last eight tilts. Edmonton is also 2-0 against the Kings this season and the clubs have split the last eight encounters in this series. LA has taken seven of its last nine tilts in Edmonton.
Edmonton was handed its first regulation loss since March 12 in its last trip to the ice, losing Wednesday's 3-1 decision to visiting Dallas.
Ales Hemsky scored the lone goal of the game for the Oilers, while Devan Dubnyk made 22 stops in the loss.
"It's tough to put your finger on something but we just didn't bring anything to the table tonight," said Hemsky. "That team over there is fighting for a playoff spot. They expected an easy game and we gave that to them. That's unacceptable as the professionals that we are. It's unacceptable to us and to our fans, they deserve better."
Tonight's test is Edmonton's penultimate home game of the season and the Oilers are 18-16-5 at Rexall Place this season. The club will close its home schedule on April 5 against Anaheim.