Oilers hoping for better outcome vs. Kings
After another head-spinning finish down south in Anaheim, the Edmonton Oilers will try to settle things down when they visit the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday night.
The Oilers (10-10-2) watched the Anaheim Ducks score with 16.2 seconds left in regulation to tie the score 1-1 on Friday afternoon, and the Ducks scored again 14 seconds into overtime to give them a stunning 2-1 win against Edmonton.
"All we can take away is how well we did play," said Edmonton forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who gave the Oilers a 1-0 lead midway through the third period against the Ducks.
It was the fourth time in the past 18 months the Ducks pulled their goalie against the Oilers in favor of an extra attacker in the final minutes and pulled off a comeback, earning valuable points in three of those games and a pivotal Game 5 win at the 2017 Western Conference Quarterfinals in the other.
Three of those comebacks happened in Anaheim.
The Oilers had a day off to ponder what occurred against the Ducks and get ready to finish their three-game California swing on a positive note.
"We have to keep our heads up and focus on our next game (in Los Angeles)," Edmonton defenseman Oscar Klefbom said after the loss in Anaheim. "If we play a solid game and win in L.A., it's a good road trip."
The Kings (7-14-1) fell to 2-6-0 in their past eight games with a 4-2 loss to the visiting Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night. The Canucks came in riding an eight-game losing streak.
The Kings and Oilers have more in common than just sitting in the bottom half of the Pacific Division standings. Each team is on their second head coach this season.
Los Angeles fired John Stevens on Nov. 4 and replaced him with Willie Desjardins the same day. Desjardins is 3-6-0 since taking over behind the bench.
The Oilers fired Todd McLellan on Tuesday and replaced him with Ken Hitchcock, who is 1-0-1 so far.
It was Stevens who replaced Hitchcock when he was fired as head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers on Oct. 22, 2006.
After a stint with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Hitchcock was hired to coach the St. Louis Blues. In his first season, he faced the Kings in the 2012 Western Conference Semifinals and was swept. The Kings went on to win their first Stanley Cup title, and Hitchcock won the Jack Adams Award as the top coach in the NHL.
The Oilers recalled forward Jesse Puljujarvi from the Bakersfield Condors of the American Hockey League on Saturday and he practiced with the fourth line.
Puljujarvi was the fourth overall pick at the 2016 NHL Draft and the Oilers are still looking for Puljujarvi to demonstrate he was the right choice.
The 6-foot-5, 210-pound right wing had eight points in 28 games as an 18-year-old rookie during the 2016-17 season. He came back with 20 points (12 goals, eight assists) in 65 games last season, but players taken directly behind him, such as No. 6 pick Matthew Tkachuk of the Calgary Flames and No. 7 pick Clayton Keller of the Arizona Coyotes, have progressed much rapidly in the NHL.
Updated November 25, 2018