Edmonton Oilers hoping to hold LA Kings in check Tuesday

Edmonton Oilers players celebrate a goal against the Dallas Stars during second period NHL action in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday October 26, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

The Edmonton Oilers are hoping their first game of 2018 is far better than their last game of 2017.

The Oilers host the L.A. Kings Tuesday night after being whipped 5-0 by Winnipeg on New Year’s Eve. They’re winless in their last three and have allowed 13 goals in that span.

“Obviously, penalty kill is number one. Just checking better,” said captain Connor McDavid, when asked about cutting the goals against down.

The Oilers held an optional morning skate on Tuesday. It appeared Brandon Davidson will come in for Matt Benning on defence, but head coach Todd McLellan wouldn’t be specific on lineup changes.

“There can be some changes. There also can be some opportunities for recovery as well,” McLellan said.

“When you hold your son or your daughter accountable for whatever they’ve done, you open the door and you send them back out again, you hope they behave or they act better the next time out. Sometimes you react that way as a coach. You open the door and see if they can respond to their guidance.”

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The Oilers record of 17-19-3 has them seven points out of a playoff spot. They’ve enjoyed some lopsided wins along the way but have also had many disappointing losses like the one against the Jets.

“Inconsistency,” said centre Leon Draisaitl. “With our team, it’s been like that all year. We can’t seem to string many good, solid, tight-checking games together in a row.”

Tuesday’s game is the first meeting of the season between the Oilers and Kings.

Catch the action on 630 CHED with the Face-off Show at 6 p.m. The game starts at 7:30 p.m.

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