Kings Practice: Injury Updates & Lines
Friday’s skate brought a few injury updates and a look at potential lines for Saturday’s game.
After canceling practice Thursday, the Los Angeles Kings were back on the ice Friday before their midday matchup with the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday.
Friday's skate brought a few injury updates and a look at potential lines for Saturday's game.
Forward Zack MacEwen is no longer wearing the chin guard he's had since coming back from a broken jaw.
A small change that should make his job as a physical player who likes to mix things up easier. Now that he can answer the bell when mixing it up.
Kevin Fiala returned to the ice in a red non-contact jersey—his first full-team practice since his lower-body injury.
Fiala said he isn't sure if he'll be back this weekend but is feeling good. And Todd McLellan said he might be ready for the Calgary Flames game next Tuesday, but they aren't sure right now.
With just one practice, it's unlikely Fiala will play this weekend. He was taking line rushes with the extra forwards at practice and didn't take any reps on the power play. Next Tuesday seems like the earliest he will be back.
Sean Durzi shed the red non-contact jersey for the first time since taking a high hit from T.J. Oshie two weeks ago. He was taking reps with Jordan Spence and didn't take any on the power play. It seems unlikely he draws in tomorrow, but not impossible.
Lastly, Gabe Vilardi returned in a normal white jersey and was taking reps on his usual line with Blake Lizotte and Alex Iafallo. McLellan said that Vilardi "is an option" for tomorrow's game. I would expect him back in the lineup tomorrow in his normal spot on the third line and top power-play unit.
It appears the fourth line of Rasmus Kupari between MacEwen and Carl Grundstrom will play tomorrow. Arthur Kaliyev and Jaret Anderson-Dolan took their reps with Fiala.
Coming off an 8-2 win and coming up against another heavy bottom six, it's not surprising that McLellan wants to keep MacEwen in the lineup.
Without Kaliyev, the second power-play unit made some slight tweaks.
Quinton Byfield was taking reps in Kaliyev's spot. He rotated out with Alex Iafallo between the right circle and net front spot.
Byfield's struggled to score this season, but a few power-play goals might get the confidence flowing for him.
There was no indication of a starter on Friday and with no morning skate Saturday we won't know the starting goalie until warmups. But it's safe to guess that the goalie rotation will continue and Joonas Korpisalo will be between the pipes.