Here are three stories from Friday night
Frustration shows in another loss for Oilers
The Oilers dropped a 4-2 decision at Rexall Place in the back end of a home-and-home series with the Anaheim Ducks. It marked the third consecutive loss for Edmonton. They briefly stopped the bleeding with a win over the San Jose Sharks on Dec. 7, but have now lost 14 of their last 15 games.
Whether there is any light at the end of the tunnel for the Oilers is anyone's guess at this point, especially after general manager Craig MacTavish indicated his intention to stay the course when addressing the media last week.
However, it is clear that the players are starting to show some disdain for the way things are going as was the case with goaltender Viktor Fasth.
After allowing two goals in the first minute of the second period and three on 12 shots overall — including the dagger by Ryan Getzlaf — Fasth was replaced in net by Ben Srivens.
When he returned to the bench, Fasth threw a bit of a tantrum.
But at least Taylor Hall appears to be remaining hopeful, which is a good thing because the Oilers (7-18-5) still have a lot of hockey to play this season with no quick fixes in sight.
Pens beat Flames, Crosby tested for mumps
The Penguins were able to take care of business of Friday in dealing the Flames a 3-1 loss, despite the absence of Sidney Crosby from the lineup.
No. 87 was held out of action and will also miss Pittsburgh's next contest against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday. Crosby was tested for mumps and he is sitting for precautionary reasons according to the team.
In the absence of Crosby, his teammate Evgeni Malkin has a tendency to step up his play.
It was no different on this occasion as Malkin assisted on Blake Comeau's goal 48 seconds into the first period and also recorded a helper on Rob Klinkhammer's insurance goal in the final frame.
As for the Flames, they have now lost a season-high four straight games and once again missed out on a chance to gain some ground in a very tough Pacific Division.
Canadiens defeat Kings, gain ground
At the Bell Centre in Montreal, the Canadiens rode some hot goaltending and a balanced offensive attack to a 6-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.
The Habs struck three times before the Kings could get on the board, with P.K. Subban's goal in the middle frame holding up as the game winner. Montreal added three more goals in the final 20 minutes to put the game out of reach, including this effort by Jiri Sekac.
Carey Price was brilliant for the Canadiens as he turned away 44 of 46 shots.
After the game, Price commented on what amounted to the most shots he has ever faced on home ice.
With the victory, the Canadiens pulled within one point of both the Detroit Red Wings (who lost in a shootout to the Florida Panthers on Friday) and the idle Tampa Bay Lightning for top spot in the Atlantic Division.
Montreal, now winners of two in a row, will have some time to breath before facing a Carolina Hurricanes team that finds itself in the basement of the Eastern Conference. The team's won't play until Tuesday night at the Bell Centre.