Time: 4:00 PM
TV: Fox Sports West
Islanders (projected) lineup:
Injured: Thomas Vanek, Lubomir Visnovsky, Brian Streit; Scratched: Radek Martinek, Eric Boulton
Kings (projected) lineup:
- You guys remember when the New York Islanders traded Matt Moulson and a draft pick for Thomas Vanek, right? Well, after dealing with Moulson twice in the past week, the Kings avoid facing Vanek. Vanek sustained some sort of upper-body injury, and rookie Brock Nelson is playing on the top line in his place.
- In case you weren't paying attention, John Tavares is still very good. Tavares also went in to the boards hard and suffered a minor injury a couple nights ago, but he is expected to play tonight. He might be slightly hampered, but don't give him too much space, boys.
- Hello, Thomas Hickey! Sorry, Lubomir Visnovsky.
- The Islanders have allowed eight power play goals in the last five games and are currently dead last in the NHL on the PK.
- For the third straight game, the Islanders go with 23-year-old Kevin Poulin (.920 SV%) over starter Evgeni Nabokov (.894 SV%). The Kings go with Ben Scrivens (.924 SV%) over the injured Jonathan Quick (.905 SV%).
- Tanner Pearson will make his Kings' regular season debut tonight, on a line with Linden Vey and Trevor Lewis. Will two offensively talented rookies be exactly what Lewis needs to break out of his offensive slump? Will Pearson pick up his first NHL point, or Vey his first NHL goal? Wise of Darryl Sutter to build some buzz around Lewis before the Sochi Olympics.
- King-Richards-Toffoli has been pretty damn good over the last few games. I think this line is locked in until Jeff Carter returns, but is it possible that Richards and Carter could be broken up?
(remembers Carter has a broken foot)
Okay, it's too soon to ask that question.
- It's officially a Grade 2 groin strain for Quick, which means this isn't just a spot start for Ben Scrivens. Dean Lombardi was sure to get a replacement backup goaltender when he traded the (currently excellent) Jonathan Bernier to Toronto; Scrivens isn't taking the starting job unless he posts a .960 or something over the next few weeks, but it's a good chance for him to prove himself.
- He'll need to prove himself; the Kings currently sit in ninth place in the Western Conference, because the Western Conference is absurd.
- Our own John Carroll will be at tonight's game! You can join him for $3, plus the cost of a flight to Long Island!
- Pregame reading: the SB Nation blog of the Islanders is Lighthouse Hockey, and they do an excellent job. They do some pretty solid satire, too.
- Prediction: Lewis scores his first goal of the season, from Vey and Pearson. Kings win 4-2 but outshoot the Islanders 67-3.