Tyler Toffoli has snapped out of his scoring funk in a big way, and it's allowing the Los Angeles Kings to grow their lead in the Pacific Division.
With Jeff Carter's status unknown, Toffoli attempts to build on his second career hat trick Tuesday night when the Kings look to continue their dominance of the Edmonton Oilers.
Toffoli leads Los Angeles with 17 goals and is tied with Carter with a team-high 28 points. The right wing, though, only had two points during a 10-game stretch before breaking out with five goals with one assist in the past three contests.
Toffoli had a hat trick in Monday's 5-0 win at Vancouver. The Kings (22-11-2) expanded their division lead on the second-place tie between the Canucks and Arizona to nine points.
“Just getting shots on net,” Toffoli said of the Kings' most lopsided win of the season on the team's official website. “Right from the start, we wanted to get the first goal and just get lots of shots on net. We got a couple of good bounces and capitalized.”
Getting Carter back could further widen that gap. He has 14 goals and seven assists in 19 career meetings with the Oilers, scoring in a 3-2 win at Edmonton on Oct. 25. However, an upper-body injury sidelined him Monday and it's unclear if he'll be available.
Toffoli has two assists in six career visits to Edmonton.
Los Angeles is 20-2-5 in its last 27 games against the Oilers, including 11-1-3 on the road.
Edmonton is 1-4-1 following a season-high six-game winning streak. Much of the attention has centered on the team's anemic power play, which is 1 for 14 over the last six games and 3 for 33 in the past 13.
“The funny thing about the power play, you score two of 10 times and that's a good power play,” right wing Jordan Eberle said. “When the power play is not working, sometimes your confidence is shot.”
Blowing a lead doesn't help, either. Edmonton gave up two power-play goals and one short-handed among four unanswered in Sunday's 5-3 loss at Calgary.
“I would call it a collapse,” coach Todd McLellan said. “The shorthanded goal's a real disappointing one – not only because we gave up the chance, but how we defended in our zone. We had some fly-bys going on and nobody stopped to defend.”
Cam Talbot will likely be back in net, and he's 1-0-1 with a 1.67 goals-against average in his last three games. He was pressed into duty Sunday after Anders Nilsson was pulled for allowing four goals on 20 shots in the second period. Talbot stopped five of six attempts the rest of the way.
He's 1-3-0 with a 3.58 GAA in four career starts against the Kings, making 31 saves in a 3-2 loss at Rexall Place on Oct. 25.
Benoit Pouliot and Taylor Hall had a goal each in that matchup. Pouliot is coming off his first two-goal effort of the season Sunday, while Hall leads the Oilers with 15 goals and 40 points.
He has 10 goals and 17 assists at home, including five and seven during a five-game point streak. Hall had a goal and an assist in a 4-3 defeat at Los Angeles on Nov. 14.
- Anders Nilsson
- Benoit Pouliot
- Cam Talbot
- Edmonton Oilers
- Jordan Eberle
- Los Angeles Kings
- Taylor Hall
- Tyler Toffoli