Tonight's game against the Carolina Hurricanes will be a litmus test for the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings responded well to their 9-8 loss on Tuesday, and the sending down of Cal Petersen with a win on Thursday night. But, beating a rebuilding team who's missing their leading goal scorer is an expectation. Beating the Hurricanes, considered by most to be a cup challenger, will prove a point.
Puck drops at 7:30.
The play of Anze Kopitar and debuts for Samuel Fagemo and Tobias Bjornfot were big highlights from Thursday's game. Kopitar reacted how a captain should after the last few days. While Fagemo and Bjornfot added some life to the Kings' lineup.
Bjornfot especially made a big impact, not only because of his play, which was good, but the balance he brings to the Kings' blue line. He gives the Kings three lefties and three righties on defense, ending the failed Sean Durzi on the left experiment. At least for now.
Jonathan Quick is expected to get his fifth consecutive start, as the Kings search for consistency in net. Petersen was sent down for poor play, but Quick has struggled in his own right. A sub-.900 savWith a percentage and the ninth-worse goals saved above expected in the league, Quick needs to step it up.
Amongst plenty of disappointment over the last few weeks for the Kings, the power play has been a massive positive. The Kings' power play is 8-13 over the last five games and has moved to 10th in the league for power-play percentage.
Now they just need to figure out killing penalties.
Expected LA Kings Lines:
Kevin Fiala-Anze Kopitar-Adrian Kempe
Trevor Moore-Phil Danault-Viktor Arvidsson
Gabe Vilardi-Blake Lizotte-Arthur Kaliyev
Carl Grundstrom-Jaret Anderson-Dolan-Samuel Fagemo
Mikey Anderson-Drew Doughty
Tobias Bjornfot-Matt Roy
Alex Edler-Sean Durzi
Expected Carolina Hurricanes Lines, Per PuckPedia.com:
Seth Jarvis-Sebastian Aho-Martin Necas
Andrei Svechnikov-Jesperi Kotkaniemi-Stefan Noesen
Jordan Martinook-Jordan Staal-Jesper Fast
Jack Drury-Paul Stastny-Derek Stepan
Jacob Slavin-Brent Burns
Brady Skjei-Brett Pesce
Calvin De Haan-Jalen Chatfield
Los Angeles Kings Power Play: 23-39, 24.73%, 10th in NHL
Los Angeles Kings Penalty Kill: 23-86, 73.26%, 26th in NHL
Carolina Hurricanes Power Play: 15-86, 17.44%, 27th in NHL
Carolina Hurricanes Penalty Kill: 18-83, 78.31, 18th in NHL
Los Angeles Kings Pre-Game Notes:
- The LA Kings had an 11-3-2 record versus Metro Division teams last season, the third-best among Western Conference teams behind Minnesota (14-0-2) and Calgary (12-2-2).
- Drew Doughty’s average TOI/GP of 26:17 sits second in the league behind Colorado’s Cale Makar (26:56).
- Trevor Moore’s 15 takeaways lead all Kings skaters.
- Gabriel Vilardi has drawn nine penalties at home. Only Toronto’s Auston Matthews (10) and Michael Bunting (10) have more among all skaters in the league.
- The Kings will embark on a six-game road trip at the conclusion of their four-game homestand (Dec. 6 vs. OTT; Dec. 8 vs. TOR; Dec. 10 vs. MTL; Dec. 11 vs. CBJ; Dec. 13 vs. BUF; Dec. 15 vs. BOS).
How to Watch:
TV: Bally Sports West; Radio: iHeartRadio