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Preview: Game Day #74, Kings @ Islanders

Steady as she goes.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Kings @ New York Islanders (Nassau Coliseum)

Time: 4:00 PM PST

TV: Fox Sports West, SportsNet, MSG

Enemy Reading: Lighthouse Hockey

Lineups:

Los Angeles Kings

Gaborik–Kopitar–Williams
King–Carter–Toffoli
Brown–Shore–Lewis
Clifford–Richards–Nolan

Muzzin–Doughty
Regehr–Sekera
Martinez–Greene

Quick
(Jones)

Scratched: McBain, McNabb, Shore; Injured: Pearson, Stoll; Suspended: Voynov

New York Islanders

Bailey–Tavares–Okposo
Lee–Nelson–Strome
Kulemin–Nielsen–Kennedy
Martin–Cizikas–Clutterbuck

de Haan–Hamonic
Leddy–Boychuk
Strait–Hickey

Halak
Neuvirth

Scratched: Grabner, Boulton, McDonald, Donovan; Injured: Grabovski, Visnovsky


Obligatory Standings Update (as of March 26, 2015)


Pacific Division Standings
Rank Team DIV GP W L OT P ROW
1 Anaheim P 75 46 22 7 99 38
2 Vancouver P 73 43
26 4 90 39
3 Calgary P 74 40
27 7 87 36
4 Los Angeles P 73
36 23 14 86
34
5 San Jose P 73
35 30
8 78 32

Wild Card Standings
Rank Team DIV GP W L OT P ROW
1 Minnesota C 74 42 25 7 91 38
2 Winnipeg C 74
38 24 12 88 31
3 Los Angeles P 73
36 23 14 86
34
4 Dallas C 74 36 28 10 82 32
5 San Jose P 73 35 30
8 78 32
6 Colorado C 73 33 28 12 78 24

(top three seeds in Pacific Division, top two seeds in Wild Card qualify for playoffs)

Game Notes:

  • It appears that the only teams which will help LA are also their playoff competitors. Winnipeg lost in regulation to Vancouver on Tuesday and Calgary only grabbed one point against Dallas, meaning that a win for the Kings tonight puts them in third in the Pacific AND ahead of the second wild card team, the Jets.
  • The first two games have very much gone according to plan for the Kings; tremendous starts with goals to boot, solid play from Jonathan Quick, and a multiple-goal lead successfully protected in the third.
  • We won't miss you, Nassau Coliseum!
  • ... unless the Kings pick this season to complete their trifecta of beating all three NY metro area NHL teams in the Stanley Cup Final. In which case, can't wait to be back, Nassau Coliseum.
  • The Islanders were expected to improve this season, but "the leap" was still thought to be a season or two away by many. However, here they are, with 93 points and the league's third-best offensive attack. I don't need to tell you which player leading their team in scoring.
  • Former Kings defenseman on the other blue line: Thomas Hickey, who's only missed one game this season and is essentially putting up Brayden McNabb's stat line.
  • Former Kings defenseman in the other press box: Lubomir Visnovsky, who was dangerous in the teams' first matchup.
  • Lighthouse Hockey's preview discussed the importance of the Islanders' road trip to California in November, which first indicated that the Islanders could be on the verge of a truly great season. If LA completes their NY sweep, this road trip could be remembered in a similar fashion in a couple months.
  • LA's lineup, obviously, is exactly the same as Tuesday's.
  • PREDICTION: the result is exactly the same as Tuesday's.