Game Day #74: Kings @ Penguins Preview

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Kings v Pittsburgh Penguins (Consol Energy Center)

Time: 4:00 PM

TV: Fox Sports West

Enemy reading: Pensburgh

Penguins (projected) lineup:

Kunitz-Crosby-Stempniak
Jokinen-Sutter-Neal
Pyatt-Goc-Gibbons
Glass-Adams-Megna

Orpik-Bortuzzo
Niskanen-Maatta
Despres-Scuderi

Zatkoff

Injured: Evgeni Malkin, Chris Conner, Paul Martin, Kris Letang, Tomas Vokoun, Pascal Dupuis; Scratched: Joe Vitale, Deryk Engelland

Kings (projected) lineup:

Gaborik-Kopitar-Williams
Toffoli-Richards-Carter
Pearson-Stoll-Brown
Clifford-Lewis-Nolan

Muzzin-Doughty
Regehr-Voynov
Mitchell-Martinez

Jones

Injured: n/a; Scratched: Matt Greene

Game Notes:

  • Dwight King will not be playing tonight due to a personal situation, so I just made up some lines based on his absence. They may be totally wrong. They're probably totally wrong. I'm not sorry about it. Holy crap, I was right. Anyway, obviously all best wishes to Dwight King and his loved ones.
  • The Kings last saw the Penguins at the end of January, back when the Kings couldn't win and the Penguins were being criticised as a paper tiger without much depth. One of those things has changed! One of those things, particularly with the loss of Evgeni Malkin to a foot injury and a host of other injuries, has not.
  • That being said, the Penguins have called up Jayson Megna from the AHL in light of Malkin's injury, and he's a promising winger who has shown more of a scoring touch than most of their other depth players/tweeners.
  • The trade deadline acquisition of the very under-rated Marcel Goc (for not very much at all) was hailed as a great deal for Pittsburgh, and so far it looks to be working out, with Goc stabilising the third line and now seeing time on the second power play unit.
  • The Penguins sit very comfortably in first in their terrible division, but they have lost two in a row, and probably want to end off their little four-game homestand with a win in front of the hometown crowd. The Kings sit fairly comfortably in third in their annoyingly good division, and are looking to end off this eastern road trip with a fifth win in a row. That fifth win would be the eighth straight road win, tying a franchise record.
  • I had forgotten this, but somebody on twitter reminded me - Jake Muzzin was originally drafted by the Penguins, who declined to sign him, before he went on to join the Kings as a free agent. I assume Jakey's Corsi/eyebrows haunt Ray Shero in his dreams.
  • One of the keys for the Kings tonight will be not to the game turn into a penalty fest. The Penguins, although they've lost some fire power due to injuries, continue to have the NHL's best power play. (Free hint for any and all LA Kings reading this game preview: defend Sidney Crosby better than you defended Alex Ovechkin on the power play last game.) The Penguins also have the NHL's second-best penalty kill. The Kings no longer lead the league in times short-handed, but they're still in third. Sigh.
  • ~Fun With Numbers~ from Extra Skater. Kings good, Penguins...getting worse and worse. (Which I suppose will happen without your two best defenceman, huh?) Also, Andrew probably wants me to remind you that Rob Scuderi sucks now.
  • Prediction: Kings win 4-2, Jeff Zatkoff & Martin Jones forget they're in the NHL now and get lost on public transit after the game.
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