The Edmonton Oilers knew that their season-high winning streak wasn't going to last forever. The playoff hopefuls will try to rebound on Saturday afternoon as they visit the Los Angeles Kings.
The Oilers potted 25 goals over five consecutive wins, including an impressive 8-2 win at Calgary on Wednesday. Their winning streak also included a shutout win at home over Vancouver, but the Canucks got some revenge on Thursday with their own 4-0 victory over Edmonton.
Nikolai Khabibulin gave up all four goals on 28 shots for the Oilers, who scored all four of their goals last weekend versus the Canucks in the first 7:53 of the game to set a club record.
Taylor Hall had three of those goals and had logged 15 points over Edmonton's previous six games before failing to log a point on Thursday despite four shots.
"We just didn't seem to bring the energy to match their intensity," Oilers coach Ralph Krueger admitted. "They came very hard and heavy. They were extremely strong along the boards early in the game."
The loss did drop the Oilers out of the eighth spot in the Western Conference and they now sit in a tie for ninth in the standings and three points back of the final playoff spot.
Edmonton captain Shawn Horcoff knows that his club can't worry too much about failing to extend its win streak.
"You're going to lose games," said Horcoff. "You're not going to win 17 in a row to finish the season, right? We'll put it behind us. We know we have better here and we have another bigger challenge coming up ahead of us now in less than 48 hours here."
The Kings have six more points than the Oilers and are in the middle of the playoff race. The defending Stanley Cup champions are currently fifth overall in the West, one point ahead of Minnesota and one behind San Jose.
Los Angeles is 4-1-1 over its last six and is coming off Thursday's 3-0 win over Minnesota. Justin Williams scored twice to extend his goal-scoring streak to a career-high five straight games, while Jeff Carter also lit the lamp.
"When you see the puck go into the net, you feel more confident," Williams said. "We knew that they played last night and we wanted to jump on them early."
Jonathan Bernier posted 23 saves to notch his first shutout of the season and sixth of his career. The backup to reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner Jonathan Quick has gone 9-0-0 in his 10 starts this season with a 1.50 goals against average and .938 save percentage.
Defenseman Robyn Regehr, who the Kings acquired from the Sabres earlier this week, posted an assist in his Los Angeles debut as well as six hits as the Kings moved to 13-4-1 at home on the year.
The Kings have won three of their last four at home versus the Oilers and have compiled an 11-1-6 mark in the past 18 meetings overall.