Since we last tangled with the New Jersey Devils...
IN: Marek Zidlicky, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Peter Harrold (Devils); Dwight King, Jordan Nolan, Jeff Carter (Kings)
OUT: Adam Larsson, Henrik Tallinder --though we may see him soon, as he will travel with the team to LA (Devils); Simon Gagne, Kyle Clifford, Andrei Loktionov (Kings)
Enemy Reading: In Lou We Trust
Both coaches downplay the notion of line-matching, but every team the Kings have faced thus far has tried to switch up its plan for the Kopitar line.
- Zidlicky and Salvador had a rough outing against Brown-Kopitar-Williams; will they switch to Greene and Fayne instead?
- DeBoer clearly hoped that Parise and Zajac's line could neutralize Kopitar as well, but that only hampered their own offense. Will DeBoer continue with that plan, or will he move them away (much like Hitchcock eventually did with Backes)?
- Elias had a good game while Ponikarovsky struggled. If this pattern continues, they might swap again.
- Finally, the Richards line did very well against Kovalchuk, although they gave up some chances against to the bottom 6. Will they be able to thwart Kovy again and step it up?
Bad ice and nerves were blamed for much of the choppy play in Game 1. By all accounts, the rink is cooler and the ice will be better. But one factor won't change: these are both big, massive teams who are out to force mistakes and cause disruption on the forecheck.
It all comes down to who will be able to handle that pressure just a little bit better. New Jersey will be desperate not to fall into a two game hole. The Kings will have to outwork them every second to grab another road victory tonight.