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Game Day #4, Kings @ Stars: Budaj to Make Season Debut

Rearranging deck chairs on... a different cruise ship that’s going to arrive safely. We think.

Los Angeles Kings v Arizona Coyotes
Not our best goalie, but definitely our hairiest.
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

After a much better effort on Tuesday from the forwards and defensemen, wholesale changes were not coming today. That doesn’t mean everything stays the same, though; after all, the Kings are still sitting on zero points.

Here are the details on tonight’s game, including the expected line combos.

Los Angeles Kings @ Dallas Stars

Start Time: 5:30 PM Pacific

TV: Fox Sports West

Radio: KABC 790 AM

Streaming: Fox Sports Go (requires cable subscription)

Dallas Stars (via Mark Stepneski):

Benn - Seguin - Eaves
Roussel - Faksa - Spezza
Sharp - Shore (no relation) - Ritchie
McKenzie - Cracknell - Korpikoski

Hamhuis - Klingberg
Oduya - Johns
Lindell - Oleksiak

Lehtonen
(Niemi)

Los Angeles Kings (via Sean Shapiro):

King - Kopitar - Toffoli
Pearson - Carter - Setoguchi
Clifford - Shore - Lewis
Brown - Dowd - Andreoff

McNabb - Doughty
Muzzin - Martinez
Forbort - Gilbert

Budaj
(Zatkoff)

Key Changes/Notes:

  • Bottom six swaps. As per Elliott Teaford at Inside Socal Hockey, the top two lines are staying the same, which is a bad sign for Teddy Purcell. Nick Shore was on the ice for three of Minnesota’s four goals at even strength in Minnesota, as were Brown and Lewis, and it looks like Darryl Sutter wants to mess around with that combo a bit. That leads to an inevitable headline of “FOURTH LINE DUSTIN BROWN,” but I’d guess the bottom six all get about the same ice time, just in opposite zones. Nolan was an obvious candidate to switch for Clifford, although Nic Dowd was beaten defensively for a goal and Nolan wasn’t.
  • Budaj gets his shot, immediately. With no back-to-backs until October 29-30, a good start from Jeff Zatkoff might have convinced Darryl Sutter to ride him for a while. Zatkoff produced the exact opposite, though, and it’s no surprise to see Budaj swapping in. Budaj gave up four in his only start for the Kings last season, but as regular readers are aware, he was sensational all year for the Ontario Reign. That’s the good news. The bad news: Dallas is a very difficult assignment.
  • Gilbert or Greene? Though Derek Forbort and Tom Gilbert gave up a goal on their very first shift, Zatkoff is catching most of the blame for that one, and the two defensemen played reasonably well in their first game together. Tom Gilbert did mostly off-ice work today, and there’s a chance he could sit, but it sounds like Sutter will continue rolling with Gilbert after he picked up his first point as a King on Tuesday.

Full preview to come. And no, the Stars’ Devin Shore is not related to our Shore boy.