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Game Day Preview #19, New Jersey Devils @ Los Angeles Kings

Loser scores the least goals.

NHL: New Jersey Devils at Los Angeles Kings Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Preview: New Jersey Devils (9-4-3) @ Los Angeles Kings (8-9-1)

How to Watch and What to Watch For

Is everyone awake? It’s early, but the Kings are playing a very exciting matinee game today against the…

Oh. The Devils. The Devils are in town.

The coaching change to John Hynes in 2015 didn’t do much to change the identity of the Devils - they weren’t exactly playing high event hockey under Peter DeBoer, and that hasn’t changed. Dating back to the 2010-11 season, the Devils rank dead last in average shots per game. While they’re trending up this season (to date, they’re sitting at the fifth spot with an average of 31.4 shots, just ahead of the Kings, with 31.3) you still can’t exactly say they’re thrilling, especially with Taylor Hall out. Defenseman Damon Severson, a strong emerging presence on the blue line this season, leads the team in points in Hall’s absence. With three goals, he’s already surpassed last year’s total (1) and is on his way to surpassing his rookie year’s goals output (5).

The Kings likely won’t make any lineup changes after their win against the Oilers, partly because they won and partly because there isn’t anyone left to draw back into the lineup. Anze Kopitar skated on the fifth line during Friday’s practice, so don’t look for him to rejoin the team just yet. While the Oilers gave the Kings several wide open chances to enter the offensive zone, look for the Devils to try to shut that down. The trap game is alive and well and it still lives in New Jersey.

If this is anything other than a 2-1 win, it’ll be a complete surprise.

Projected Line Combinations:

Los Angeles Kings

Pearson - Carter - Toffoli

Brown - Dowd - Setoguchi

King - Lewis - Nolan

Clifford - Shore - Purcell

Forbort - Doughty

Muzzin - Martinez

Gravel - Gilbert

Budaj

(Campbell)

New Jersey Devils

Bennett - Zajac - Parenteau

Zacha - Henrique - Palmieri

Boucher/Pietila - Josefson - Smith-Pelly

Kalinin - Fiddler - Lappin

Greene - Severson

Moore - Quincey

Merrill - Lovejoy

Schneider

Kinkaid

Opposing Preview: All About the Jersey