No line changes or defensive shifts heading into today’s game. Isn’t winning just so dull?
Game Day #6: Columbus Blue Jackets @ Los Angeles Kings
Start Time: 7:30 PM Pacific
TV: Fox Sports West
Radio: KABC 790 AM
Streaming: Fox Sports Go (requires cable subscription)
Columbus Blue Jackets (via Aaron Portzline):
Saad - Wennberg - Foligno
Calvert - Dubinsky - Atkinson
Hartnell - Karlsson - Anderson
Jenner - Sedlak - Gagner
Werenski - Jones
Johnson - Savard
Nutivaara - Prout
Los Angeles Kings (via Jon Rosen):
King - Kopitar - Toffoli
Pearson - Carter - Setoguchi
Clifford - Shore - Lewis
Brown - Dowd - Andreoff
McNabb - Doughty
Muzzin - Martinez
Forbort - Gilbert
What Kings fans will be watching for: Getting back to .500 would be nice. Even nicer? A regulation win. The Blue Jackets are widely expected to finish near the bottom of a very competitive Metropolitan Division, and quite simply, this is a game that the Kings should win. Having said that, some balance would be reassuring: six forwards got more than sixteen minutes while the other six all played under twelve, and Kopitar played 25:06.
What Blue Jackets fans will be watching for: As Sergei Bobrovsky goes, so do the Blue Jackets, and he’s been off to a fantastic start this year, stopping 130 of 139 shots for a .935 save percentage. Last year, he was largely outplayed by 21-year-old Joonas Korpisalo, but Korpisalo has an injured groin (sound familiar?) and Bobrovsky has a big ol’ contract. It’s his net, and excellence in net is the only chance Columbus will have to make the playoffs.
What everyone else will be watching for: It’s a Team USA reunion for Columbus coach John Tortorella and LA general manager Dean Lombardi. Avert your eyes!
Stat of the Day: Dustin Brown had three points on Saturday; it was the 14th time he’s scored three or more points in a game in his career, but only his third since the start of the 2012-13 NHL season.
The Key Players: Jake Muzzin and Jack Johnson, two second-pairing defensemen off to rough starts. They have combined for zero points in nine games. Johnson hasn’t even been on the ice for a single Columbus goal at even strength, while Muzzin has been on the ice for six goals against at even strength through five games. Which one breaks out first, and which one gets mercilessly heckled by Kings fans?
The Prediction: Peter Budaj doesn’t have to worry about protecting a one-goal lead at the end of the evening.