Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter said he's going to need Jonathan Quick and backup Jonathan Bernier to both perform well down the stretch.
More strong contributions from new defenseman Robyn Regehr couldn't hurt, either.
Surging Los Angeles looks to continue its push for fourth place in the Western Conference on Saturday while the visiting Edmonton Oilers look to rebound from their first defeat in six games.
The Kings (21-13-3) probably won't catch Anaheim for the Pacific Division title and a top-three spot in the West, but they're locked in a tight battle with San Jose and Minnesota for the fourth spot and home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Quick is still No. 1, but Bernier is making a strong bid for more playing time, going 9-0-0 with a 1.50 goals-against average in 10 starts with 23 saves in a 3-0 win over Minnesota on Thursday.
"No, we're still in the heavy lifting schedule part of it and we need them both," Sutter said when asked if he's going to change his goaltending rotation. "I think it's shown that when one's fresh - it doesn't matter which one it is - that they're both capable guys."
The Kings knew that about Regehr - he was with Calgary for 11 seasons before going to Buffalo in 2011 and was acquired from the Sabres on Monday - but now, they're seeing those skills from another perspective. The veteran defenseman blocked two shots on Thursday, recorded a game-high six hits and assisted on Justin Williams' second goal.
"He's a hard-nosed defenseman, he's hard to play against, and he's not going to give an inch to anyone on the opposite team," said Williams, who will try to extend his career-high goal-scoring streak to six games.
The Oilers (16-14-7) will now have to deal with Regehr - and either Quick or Bernier - after falling out of the top eight in the West with Thursday's 4-0 loss to Vancouver. Edmonton had 25 goals in its previous five contests, including its highest-scoring game of the season a night earlier to open its four-game trip, an 8-2 win over Calgary.
"Just couldn't get our power play going (0 for 4) - just all kinds of signals of a lack of energy," said coach Ralph Krueger, whose team is among the NHL leaders with the man advantage at 23.1 percent. "... They gave us no space and room.'
That might be a good approach against former No. 1 overall picks Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Hall has a team-best 14 points over the last six games, while Nugent-Hopkins has 10.
They've combined for three assists as these teams split two matchups in Edmonton earlier this season, a 2-1 Oilers win in overtime on Jan. 24 and a 3-1 Los Angeles victory on Feb. 19.
Edmonton's Sam Gagner scored goals in both contests after failing to net any in his first 16 games versus Los Angeles.
Williams has no points in the season series, while teammate Jeff Carter - the team leader with 21 goals - has half of the Kings' scores.
Devan Dubnyk, a winner of four consecutive starts, could be in net after Nikolai Khabibulin got the nod Thursday. Dubnyk, who stopped 30 shots on Jan. 24, has dropped three straight in Los Angeles after getting beat by Dwight King and Slava Voynov in the Oilers' last visit, a 2-0 loss April 2, 2012.
Quick made 19 saves in that game for his only shutout versus Edmonton.
The 2012 Conn Smythe winner has been in net both times against the Oilers this season, helping Los Angeles improve to 11-1-6 in the last 18 meetings.
The Associated Press News Service
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