The Edmonton Oilers will be trying to end a four-game losing streak Thursday night when they visit the Los Angeles Kings.
The Oilers (9-7-1) have scored just four times in their last three games despite having fired 115 shots on goal.
“Anytime you go on a losing streak like we have, there are parts of the game you want to clean up,” says captain Connor McDavid. “They’re little details. There’s nothing major. It’s an easy fix. It’s just bearing down on chances and bearing down on back checks.”
It doesn’t help that the Oilers have allowed the first goal in six straight games.
“We have to dig deep. We have to be better around the net. Are we not getting some bounces around the net? Yes. But ultimately it’s on us as players,” says winger Zack Kassian. “If we score the first goal, everyone feels good. You’re not playing catch-up. You’re not taking chances.”
Jonas Gustavsson will start in goal for the Oilers. It’s only his second start and third appearance of the season.
“He’s played with and around some really good goaltenders. He’s a mature goaltender that should be ready on nights like this,” says head coach Todd McLellan. Gustavsson made 22 saves in a 2-1 win over Detroit on November 6.
McLellan added that forward Matt Hendricks is close to returning from injury. He could play Saturday in Dallas.
The Oilers expected lineup is:
Maroon – McDavid – Eberle
Pouliot – Draisaitl – Puljujarvi
Lucic – Nugent-Hopkins – Slepyshev
Kassian – Letestu – Pitlick
Klefbom – Larsson
Nurse – Gryba
Sekera – Benning
The Oilers and Kings are 630 CHED with the Face-off Show at 7pm. The game starts at 8:30pm. (jrw)