Kings and jokers

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 12:46 PM ET

LOS ANGELES -- The march toward tying the longest losing streak in Edmonton Oilers history is still going.

The battered, bruised and sick Copper and Blue have now lost eight straight games - three short of equaling the franchise record - after the L.A. Kings posted an easy 5-1 victory at the Staples Center last night.

MISSED OPPORTUNITIES

"You look at the chances we had (last night)," said frustrated Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish, "and (Marc) Pouliot had two wide open nets and he double hit the one.

"He didn't get it all, but it was going in the net and when he was retracting his stick it knocked the puck out.

"Raffi (Torres) had a wide open net. J.F. (Jacques) had a wide open net.

"Don't get me wrong. It is not a case of complete bad luck - we are not very gifted scoring goals right now.

"I am not here claiming we are snake bit."

It has been 12 years since the Oilers have lost eight straight.

In that lockout-shortened 1995 season, Edmonton lost nine straight with a much more impressive roster.

With Doug Weight, Jason Arnott and Shane Corson up front, the Oilers at least scored 13 goals during the first eight defeats in that stretch.

In this ugly run, Edmonton has been outscored 32-6.

If it weren't for a complete mental breakdown by the Kings defence on a first-period power play, the Oilers would have been shut out again last night.

On a clear-cut breakaway from Edmonton's blue line, Toby Petersen slipped the puck under Mathieu Garon's left pad to make it 2-1.

During this eight-game streak, Petersen and Pisani are the only forwards who have scored goals.

"We got playing the game of courage and at this stage I would be disappointed if we didn't try to be as physically involved as we were," said MacTavish on last night's effort.

"But we end up taking a few penalties and we have got a lot of inexperience on the penalty kill - and they get two power-play goals in the third."

Shawn Horcoff has gone nine games without a goal as the club's first line center. But that's nothing compared to some of the other ugly skids.

Patrick Thoresen - who was on the ice for both first-period goals against - has now gone 50 games without scoring.

Joffrey Lupul is at 14 games while Brad Winchester has hit 21 and Petr Sykora is now at 10, even though he had two golden opportunities in one shift in the second period yesterday.

THE MINOR PLUS SIDE

But at least Jussi Markkanen didn't give up a goal on the first shot he faced last night.

This time it was the second shot that got by him.

Noah Clarke scored his first NHL goal to open the scoring by sneaking a shot off the post and in. It marked the ninth straight game the Oilers relinquished the first goal of the game.

Alexander Frolov, Michael Cammalleri (two) and Rob Blake also scored for the Kings.

Ice chips ...

Los Angeles Kings goalie coach Bill Ranford was between the pipes for the Oilers during that losing streak in 1995.

"I thought we were good back then," he said during the second period intermission in the basement of Staples Center.


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