HOW TO WATCH
Game Time: 7:30 PM Pacific
Radio: KABC AM 790
Stream: NBC (link)
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
if you’re a Kings fan: Five wins in a row. What do you do when things are going well? If you’re LA, you look for Marian Gaborik to get up to speed and Anze Kopitar to continue shouldering the workload he normally does. Also, the bottom two or three defensemen are still jostling for position. Winning takes some of the pressure off all those guys, though.
if you’re a Sharks fan: Four wins out of five. Since the defense and goaltending have been excellent, there are some eyes on the offense to be a little more productive. The “Captain” line of Thornton, Marleau, and Pavelski hasn’t been as explosive as expected, but the depth scoring has sufficed; will the big guns take back over?
if you’re a hockey fan: NBCSN’s first game tonight between the Islanders and the Penguins is a massive mismatch, at least on paper. So why wouldn’t you tune in for this game, which has the makings of a contest which could actually be close? Plus, rivalry. Actual rivalry.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
for the Kings: Peter Budaj. He’s starting every game right now, and he’s given up nine goals on 126 shots during LA’s five-game win streak. We hypothesized on yesterday’s Jewelcast that a game in Arizona tomorrow is a good chance for Jeff Zatkoff to get a chance in goal, but if Budaj’s greedy, a good start tonight might keep him in there.
for the Sharks: Martin Jones. Since a three-game losing streak at the start of November, Jones has been rock-solid in goal. He’s now sitting comfortably at a .919 save percentage. He hasn’t been amazing at Staples since being traded to the Sharks (.914), but he’s won all five of his starts as the road goalie in LA between the regular season and the playoffs.
- Brent Burns signed a big-money deal, in case you missed it. Eight more years of Chewbacca in our division. Great. [Fear the Fin]
- Elliotte Friedman’s 30 Thoughts column has many thoughts on the Florida Panthers’ surprise firing of Gerard Gallant. [Sportsnet]
- Craig Anderson has taken a leave of absence in the middle of a hot stretch of goaltending to be with his ailing wife. [NHL]