Time: 7:00 Pacific
Enemy Reading: Anaheim Calling
Los Angeles Kings
Scratched: Andreoff, Nolan, Ehrhoff
Injured: Stoner Suspended: Horcoff
Stats & Such
(Fancy stats courtesy War on Ice)
|Streak||Won 4||Won 1|
|ES Goal %||45.1||51.0|
ES Shot %
|ES Corsi %||53.3||56.2
|ES Fenwick %||53.6||55.8|
|ES Scoring Chance %||52.5||55.1|
|ES High-Danger SC %||53.0||53.6|
|Power Play % (Rank)||18.3 (14th)||21.5 (4th)|
|Penalty Kill % (Rank)||89.8 (1st)||82.8 (10th)|
|Starting Goalie (today)||Gibson||Quick|
|ES Save %||.927
- The Kings finally managed to get a second win over the Coyotes on Tuesday, defeating the Desert Dogs to end their season series with them 2-3-0. Now they return home to Staples to play another Pacific Division rival, but instead of their fifth and final meeting with the Ducks it's actually just their second meeting of the season! They had their first meeting back in January 17th in Anaheim with the Kings coming out on top, 3-2 in regulation. After tonight they've still got three more meetings coming up: 2/28 in Anaheim, 3/5 in Los Angeles, and finally 4/7 also in Los Angeles. The Ducks aren't quite in the race for the top spot yet, 12 points back (though with 2 games in hand), but imagine if they sweep the final 4 games of this season series? Suddenly that cushion wouldn't be so large, right? I know, a horrific thought, I apologize.
- So the Ducks are on a roll of late, winning their last four in a row and against the Wild, Red Wings, Bruins, and Sharks- pretty solid competition to boot. They've scored the fewest goals in the league, even after a frantic 7-game stretch of 26 goals (3.7 per game). The puck luck finally balancing out for them for the rest of the season is a pretty scary thought, because the underlying numbers all say this is a pretty fantastic Ducks team. Granted, those same numbers say the Kings are probably a little bit better, but the gap is closer here than the standings probably lead you to believe. They're pretty clearly the second-best team in this division, at any rate, a class above the Sharks despite their respective slots in the standings right now.
- For some reason the Darryl Sutter line shuffler has kicked into high gear again: Dustin Brown goes up to the top line to play with Kopitar & Lucic (does Darryl think we're playing the Coyotes again??), Dwight King takes Tanner Pearson's place on the 2nd line to reunite That Other 70s Line (kill me), Gaborik moves down to play with Vinny & Lewis on the 3rd, and Tanner is down on the 4th line with Shore and the returning Kyle Clifford. There's some depth here on these forward lines, provided Brown & King don't drag down the top 6; this is probably the most appealing bottom six the Kings have had in a very long time. We'll see if it translates to more scoring from that group.
- The defensive pairings, on the other hand, leave a lot to be desired. Reuniting Doughty-Muzzin instead of spreading out that wealth is probably a mistake, Schenn-Martinez has the potential to be a really shaky (if not outright bad) 2nd pairing, and dressing McBain over Christian Ehrhoff is still really, really stupid. I'm not sure I want to see those 2nd & 3rd pairings going up against the Ducks' forward lines tonight, and it doesn't make me very optimistic, but I guess we'll see.
- PREDICTION: Kings eek out an overtime win, 4-3. Close game, maybe the Kings even go down by a couple goals before roaring back. Should be a hell of a game tonight, either way, so enjoy!