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Game Day Watch, 12/16: Los Angeles Kings @ Pittsburgh Penguins

The Wings were struggling. The Pens definitely are not.

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Los Angeles Kings Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

HOW TO WATCH

Game Time: 4:00 PM Pacific
TV: NBCSN, TVA, Sportsnet, Root Sports
Radio: KABC AM 790
Stream: NBC Sports (requires cable subscription)

HIGHLIGHTS TO WATCH

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

if you’re a Kings fan: Sure, beating Detroit is one thing. Going into the Igloo (sure, it’s “PPG Paints Arena” now, but to me it’s still The Igloo) and trying to stop Sid and Friends is another thing entirely. Regardless of the defense, though, the Kings will need goals, and the fact that Anze Kopitar, Tyler Toffoli, and Jeff Carter all showed up last night is very reassuring.

if you’re a Penguins fan: Seven straight wins. The second-best home record in the NHL. More goals than any other team. And most importantly, the Eastern Conference lead. Tonight presents a new obstacle, though, as Kris Letang’s lower-body injury will keep him out for a few weeks. Letang hasn’t played a full season since 2010-11, though, so this isn’t anything new.

if you’re a hockey fan: Crosby vs. Kopitar is fun. The Penguins are missing their best defenseman and the Kings are missing their best goalie, so this is your marquee matchup.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

for the Kings: Jake Muzzin. We asked yesterday whose deployment would be affected the most by the Kings’ defensive shuffle, and it was #6, whose 17:18 ice time was lower than his ice time in any other game this season OR last season. Being beaten on the first goal didn’t help. The Kings need a strong effort from him tonight.

for the Senators: Trevor Daley. One year and one day ago, he was traded straight-up for Rob Scuderi. Last night, he played 22:43, and with Letang’s injury he’s in line to lead the Penguins in ice time tonight. Historically, he packs an offensive punch but isn’t the most solid defensive player.

WATCH THIS

Another intriguing footnote leading up to Anze vs. Sid: Kopitar isn’t the only one who took a puck to the face this week.