It's time to go streaking!
The Los Angeles Kings (7-6-1) have won three straight and can extend that to a season-high four straight tonight against the Detroit Red Wings (7-4-3).
A common theme for the LA Kings over the last two victories has been stellar play from Jonathan Quick. He's stopped 52 of 53 shots over the last two games and has brought the stellar goaltending that's been missing this season. But, Cal Petersen gets the nod tonight.
"He (Petersen) doesn't have to play, but he has to play," said Todd McLellan. "He's played better when he's been back in the net. Quickie had a really good run. You don't mess with a shutout, in my opinion, so maybe Cal would have been back in earlier but he wasn't. Tonight's his night so make it count."
Petersen started the last time Detroit visited Crypto.com Arena, posting a 21-save shutout. But, according to McLellan, this didn't factor into the decision to start him tonight.
"No, today was timing and getting him going again," McLellan said. "It had nothing to do with what happened last year."
Petersen, in the first season of his 3-year, $15 million extension, is still searching for his game. Currently posting a .868 save percentage, and sitting bottom ten in goals saved above expected, he hasn't been good enough. The team's defense has improved significantly over the last two games, abandoning the run-n-gun style from early in the season. Perhaps this helps Petersen's play.
Kings special teams were once again discussed this morning, with McLellan focusing on the impact of faceoffs on the powerplay. Mentioning Jonathan Toews' domination of the Kings in the faceoff circle Thursday night, in particular.
"Against Chicago our faceoffs, other than Kopi (Anze Kopitar) nobody won one," said McLellan. "Jonathan Toews owned us and when he gets on the ice Toews or the opposition and wins a faceoff and you have to start continually from behind your net and get up ice it can be frustrating. Nobody bats a thousand, so you come up and it doesn't work the first time now you're even more frustrated."
McLellan then mentioned the need for in-game adjustments when an opposition center is having such a good game in the faceoff circle.
"You almost have to play it like you're going to lose (the faceoff)," said McLellan. " If you're in the offensive zone and you aren't winning a lot of draws I don't know what you're thinking if you're setting up a faceoff play. What happens if, when this puck gets dropped it goes down to the goal line? Who's jumping up quickly, when you're winning faceoffs you're going 'hey let's do this or run that.' The mindset changes."
Fortunately for the Kings, Detroit currently sits 30th in the league for team faceoff percentage. Winning just 44.3% of their faceoffs.
Expected LA Kings Lines:
Adrian Kempe-Anze Kopitar-Gabe Vilardi
Trevor Moore-Phil Danault-Viktor Arvidsson
Kevin Fiala-Rasmus Kupari-Carl Grundstrom
Brendan Lemieux-Blake Lizotte-Arthur Kaliyev
Mikey Anderson-Drew Doughty
Sean Durzi-Matt Roy
Alex Edler-Sean Walker
Expected Detroit Red Wings Lines Per PuckPedia.com:
Pius Suter-Dylan Larkin-Lucas Raymond
Dominik Kubalik-Andrew Copp-David Perron
Adam Erne-Michael Rasmussen-Oskar Sundqvist
Austin Czernik-Joe Velano-Jonatan Berggren
Ben Chiarot-Moritz Sedier
Olli Maata-Filip Hronek
Robert Hagg-Gustav Lindstrom
Los Angeles Kings Power Play: 12-69, 17.39%, 26th in NHL
Los Angeles Kings Penalty Kill: 14-61, 77.05%, 19th in NHL
Detroit Red Wings Power Play: 9-53, 16.98%, 27th in NHL
Detroit Red Wings Penalty Kill: 8-43, 81.40%, 12th in NHL
Los Angeles Kings Game Notes:
- The LA Kings will be throwing it back tonight as the team will wear their new Reverse Retro 2.0 jerseys by Adidas, for the first of five times this season. The jerseys honor the 1982 uniform celebrating the 40th anniversary of the “Miracle on Manchester” game.
- Four different Kings skaters currently hold active point streaks of three games against the Red Wings while Kevin Fiala holds a five-game streak against Detroit dating back to Jan. 22, 2020, which is tied for the fourth-longest streak among NHL skaters against Detroit
- Defenseman Drew Doughty currently sits atop the league in highest time on ice average per game with 26:42 minutes.
How to Watch:
TV: Bally Sports West, ESPN + // Radio: iHeartRadio