NHL

Oilers host Kings on TSN, Blues battle Wild on TSN2

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The Sports Network
4/10/2014 11:39:37 AM
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The Los Angeles Kings will try to salvage the finale of a four-game road trip on Thursday night as they visit the Edmonton Oilers.

Catch the game on TSN starting at 9pm et/6pm pt.

The Kings are 0-2-1 on their final trip of the regular season. They end the campaign at home on Saturday versus the Pacific Division-champion Anaheim Ducks before kicking off a first-round playoff matchup with the second-place San Jose Sharks.

Following consecutive 2-1 regulation losses to San Jose and Vancouver, Los Angeles rallied from a three-goal deficit in an eventual 4-3 shootout setback to the Calgary Flames on Wednesday.

Anze Kopitar scored the 199th goal of his career, while Jarret Stoll and Dwight King also lit the lamp. Marian Gaborik recorded the 700th point of his career with an assist, while Jonathan Quick made 15 saves.

"We hung in there, got some goals and got a point," LA head coach Darryl Sutter said.

The Kings have lost four of their last five overall and are likely to start backup Martin Jones tonight. The rookie Jones has faced the Oilers once before this season, a 24-save shutout in a 3-0 decision at home on Dec. 17.

The Kings have won five in a row and 11 of their last 14 meetings with the Oilers, including the first three matchups of this season. Los Angeles also has claimed two straight and nine of its previous 11 trips to Edmonton.

The Oilers had a two-game winning streak snapped with Tuesday's 4-1 setback to the Colorado Avalanche. David Perron had a goal and Ben Scrivens yielded four tallies on 33 shots.

"We couldn't get into the rhythm of the game," said Edmonton head coach Dallas Eakins. "The biggest thing for me was it was almost like we couldn't work because we couldn't make two passes in a row. Our execution was just terrible tonight for whatever reason and it happens."

Scrivens fell to 8-11-0 with a 3.06 goals against average and one shutout with the Oilers since being acquired from the Kings on Jan. 15 in exchange for a 2014 third-round pick. That includes a loss to his former club on March 9, when Scrivens yielded four goals on 50 shots.

Edmonton will start Viktor Fasth tonight and he has gone 3-2-1 with a 2.68 GAA in six starts since being acquired from Anaheim. Fasth is 1-2-0 lifetime versus the Kings with a 2.95 GAA.

The Oilers wrap a season-ending four-game homestand on Saturday versus Vancouver and sit last in the Western Conference with 65 points.

St. Louis Blues at Minnesota Wild

The St. Louis Blues will try to snap their longest losing streak of the season and keep their chances at the top seed in the Western Conference alive on Thursday night when they visit the playoff-bound Minnesota Wild.

Catch the game on TSN2 starting at 8pm et/5pm pt.

The Blues have lost three in a row for the first time this season, putting them a point back of the Anaheim Ducks for the most in the conference. St. Louis does have a game in hand over idle Anaheim.

However, the Blues' current skid also has them just two points ahead of the Colorado Avalanche for first place in the Central Division with three games to play for both teams. The Avs are in action on Thursday as well as they visit the Vancouver Canucks.

St. Louis' offensive funk continued with Tuesday's 4-1 setback to the Washington Capitals. It marked the sixth straight game that the Blues were held to a pair of goals or fewer.

"The last few we haven't been scoring but we've had guys scoring all year," said Blues forward Alexander Steen, who returned from a three-game absence caused by an upper-body injury and leads the club with 33 goals.

While Steen doesn't sound too worried, the Blues will be without another key offensive contributor in David Backes, who suffered a lower-body injury versus the Capitals. He traveled with the club to Minnesota, but won't play tonight and his status for Friday's road contest with the Dallas Stars is unknown.

Backes is second on the Blues with 27 goals and third in points with 57.

Ryan Miller gave up four goals on 22 shots versus the Capitals and will try to help St. Louis avoid posting its longest losing streak since a five-game slide from Feb. 1-11 of last year. Miller is 4-2-0 with a 2.08 goals against average and one shutout in six previous meetings with the Wild.

Minnesota would probably like to avoid a first-round playoff matchup with St. Louis, though that is who the Wild would play if the season ended today. The Wild are locked into the first of two wild card spots after beating the Boston Bruins 4-3 in a shootout on Tuesday.

The Wild are 5-0-1 in their last six, with their last regulation setback coming on March 27 with a 5-1 defeat in St. Louis. T.J. Oshie highlighted the Blues' victory with his first career hat trick, while Miller stopped 27-of-28 shots faced.

The Blues have won all four of their previous meetings with the Wild this season and nine straight overall. The Wild have not won in this series since a home victory on Nov. 19, 2011, dropping four straight as the host since.

Minnesota, though, could make a statement tonight with a victory and is coming off a hard-fought win over the NHL-leading Bruins. Defenseman Ryan Suter netted a game-tying goal with 1:05 remaining in regulation, while Mikko Koivu had the lone shootout tally.

Koivu matched an NHL record with his 15th game-winning shootout tally and also had a pair of assists on regulation. Jason Pominville tallied twice and Ilya Bryzgalov posted 21 saves.

"We played ourselves into the playoffs the way that you want to. It says a lot about the guys in here, and hopefully we can keep this thing going here," Suter said.

Bryzgalov, who was coming off back-to-back shutouts, improved to 7-0-3 with a 1.78 goals against average and .923 save percentage since being acquired from the Edmonton Oilers. He is 6-11-2 with a 3.14 GAA and two shutouts lifetime versus the Blues.

Miller is 10-5-1 with a 2.27 GAA and .910 save percentage in 16 starts since the Blues acquired him from the Buffalo Sabres.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Photo: Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
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