Long ago, they were used to watching their season vaporize against the
That was in the days before the
Now their season teeters on the edge, courtesy of forwards
The Kings' flickering playoff chances are close to being extinguished. If they lose Thursday at Calgary in regulation, the Kings will be eliminated, joining the
"I just didn't think we had enough energy, enough jump," Kings center Anze Kopitar said. "Obviously, it just wasn't good enough. We didn't play our style of game. It was too much of a run-and-gun game. When you play a team like Edmonton, they have a lot of speedy forwards and it hurt us."
The back-to-backs for the Kings meant the first start for goalie Martin Jones since Feb. 27. Jones wasn't the problem Tuesday night. Fraser scored two goals, the second an empty-netter, and Benoit Pouliot converted on a breakaway in the second period to make it 2-1.
The Kings trail Winnipeg by three points for the final wild-card spot, and third-place Calgary leads the Kings by two points in the
"I don't know what the reason was, but it wasn't good enough," Kopitar said. "That's the bottom line."
"No, no. This time of year, it's very difficult to run out of gas in the situation that we're in," he said.
Last week, the Kings beat the lowly Oilers, 8-2, at Staples Center. But Bachman, who was away from the team then because of a death in his family, rejoined the Oilers and continued his winning ways against the Kings. With him, the Oilers played like a different team despite the absence of several regulars.
"Our D-zone wasn't as sharp as it needs to be and they burned us on a couple of faceoff goals," Kopitar said. "Our power play gave us life for a little bit. That's about it."
The Oilers never trailed. They had leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-1. Pitlick, who missed 41 games because of an injury to his spleen, scored at 5 minutes 31 seconds of the third to make it 3-1. It was his second goal of the season, and it finally caused the Kings to start playing with some urgency.
"We didn't start pushing until we were down 2- or 3-1 in the last period," said Kings defenseman
"I don't think we were chasing the game. I don't think they outplayed us. It hasn't been the greatest season, but we still have a chance. We win the next game against Calgary, and the next one against San Jose, some other things have to work out for us but we still have a chance."
Doughty's goal came on the power play — his first power-play goal of the season — and cut the Oilers' lead to 3-2 at 9:38 of the third. He beat Bachman with a laugher, scoring from center ice.
Bachman was able to joke about it later, saying he was trying to make the top-10 highlight list, adding: "I'm pretty sure that'll make it this week."