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G71 Game Notes: Oilers and Kings Round Three?

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Photo credit:Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Gregor
21 days ago
The Edmonton Oilers and LA Kings look destined for a third consecutive playoff matchup.
— The Oilers are eight points back of first-place Vancouver, with two games in hand, but it is really nine points as the Canucks have six more regulation wins. Even if they win their two games in hand, they’d still be five points back with 10 games remaining. They’d have to defeat the Canucks in regulation on April 13th to have any chance of catching them. Right now, they are closer to third-place LA than they are to the Canucks. The Kings are three points back of Edmonton, and the Oilers have one game in hand.
— If LA wants home ice advantage, they have to win in regulation tonight. They skate into Edmonton feeling pretty good about themselves. They have won four in a row and outscored their opponents 19-7. A regulation win by the Oilers would put them five points up on LA with one game in hand and the Kings would have 10 games remaining. Essentially the Oilers could go 6-5 in their final 11 games, and the Kings would need to go 8-1-1 to catch them. The Oilers can pretty much punch their ticket for home ice advantage with a victory tonight.
— The Oilers and Kings met in the playoffs for four consecutive seasons from 1989-1992. The Oilers had a 3-1 series lead in 1989, but Wayne Gretzky and the Kings stormed back to beat them. The Oilers swept them in round two in 1990, won round two in six games in 1991 and defeated LA again in six games in the opening round of 1992. The only other franchise Edmonton defeated in three consecutive playoff seasons was the Winnipeg Jets in 1983, 1984 and 1985.
— Over the past three regular seasons the Oilers are 7-4 v. the Kings with two shootout victories. Edmonton has won four of the last five meetings. What is interesting is that when LA wins, they win big, having outscored Edmonton 18-5 in their wins. The Oilers have outscored LA 22-12 in their seven victories.
— Edmonton is 2-1 v. the Kings winning 4-2 in Edmonton on February 26th, losing 4-0 in LA on February 10th and winning 3-2 in a shootout in LA on December 30th. The Oilers’ six goals have come from Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Evan Bouchard and Zach Hyman. They could use some depth scoring tonight.
— Corey Perry will play his 1,300th NHL game tonight. He will be the 71st player to play 1,300 games and if he plays all 12 remaining games, he will pass Sergei Gonchar (1,301), Daniel Sedin (1,306) and Marian Hossa (1,310), and finish the season 68th all time in games played. Perry has 10 goals and 18 points in 42 games split between Chicago and Edmonton. I see no reason why he can’t play next season if he wants.
— Perry ranks 124th all time in points with 901 and is currently tied with Patrice Bergeron for 85th in goals with 427. He ranks 22nd in playoff games with 196, and if the Oilers play 10 playoff games, he will move up to 17th ahead of Hossa (205), Scott Niedermayer (202), Brett Hull (202), Zdeno Chara (200) and Jari Kurri (200). If Edmonton makes it to the third round, he’ll likely pass Wayne Gretzky and Jaromir Jagr who’ve played 208 playoff games.
— Perry is tied for 49th in playoff goals with 53 and sits 59th in points with 124. The Worm has had quite the career.
— The Oilers had their most accurate shooting game of the season in Winnipeg on Tuesday. They only missed the net five times, and none of the defenders missed the net. Darnell Nurse hit the net on all six of his shots, Mattias Ekholm put five on goal, while Evan Bouchard had two.
— That was the most engaged game I’ve seen from Nurse in a while. He was physical. He went after Brendan Dillon for his hit on Corey Perry. He made a great outlet pass to Evander Kane. He didn’t have a perfect game, few do, but he was engaged emotionally and physically, and the Oilers need more of that. I also felt Vincent Desharnais really used his size against the Jets. He had two big, hard hits. The Oilers have a big team, and as the playoffs get closer, ramping up their physical play should help them.
— Anze Kopitar’s next point will move him into 50th all time in NHL regular season scoring with 1,206 points. He is 102 points back of Marcel Dionne for most points in Kings history. His new two-year, $7m AAV deal kicks in next season, and he will have an excellent chance to pass Dionne and become the 39th player with 1,300+ career points (assuming Evgeni Malkin, 1,282, and Patrick Kane, 1,277 also do it).

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