Game Day #2: Kings @ Coyotes

Los Angeles Kings v Arizona Coyotes (Gila River Arena)

Time: 6.00 PM

TV: Fox Sports West

Kings projected lineup:

Gaborik - Kopitar - Williams
Pearson - Carter - Toffoli
King - Stoll - Brown
Clifford - Richards - Nolan

Doughty - McNabb
Regehr - Voynov
Martinez - Greene


Injured: Muzzin (upper body), Lewis ("upper-middle body")

Coyotes projected lineup:

Boedker - Vermette - Doan
Klinkhammer - Hanzal - Erat
Korpikoski - Gagner - Moss
McMillan - Vitale - Crombeen

Ekman-Larsson - Michalek
Yandle - Stone
Summers - Murphy


Enemy reading: Five for Howling

Game notes:
  • A couple of new faces in Arizona tonight, as the Kings will face Sam Gagner (who was almost a King at the trade deadline last season), Joe Vitale (who was a long-time NHL/AHL tweener for the Penguins), and BJ Crombeen (who sucks) as Coyotes for the first time in the regular season. Earlier previews I saw indicated that Mike Smith was getting the start in net, but apparently now it'll be Devan Dubnyk also making his regular season debut as a Coyote, returning as an NHL backup after getting banished to the AHL for much of last season.
  • Although he is skating in practice, Jake Muzzin's mysterious - and "frustrating", according to Darryl Sutter - upper body injury (maybe his hand?) persists, and he won't be in tonight's lineup. Adrian Dater's nemesis Brayden McNabb continues to fill Muzzin's spot on the top pairing.
  • McNabb, in his Kings debut, played solidly if not spectacularly, although he had at least one highlight reel gaffe that led to a goal against. Come to think of it, that's a pretty good encapsulation of how the Kings' entire season opener went. They played decently, although uninspired, and got thumped on the scoreboard because of a few key lapses.
  • Presumably because it's never too early to start fucking with us, Darryl Sutter has already begun with the line combo mix-ups, swapping out Dustin Brown/Justin Williams on the first & third lines and Mike Richards/Jarret Stoll on the third & fourth lines. The Brown & Williams move makes sense, I guess. I suspect the Richards & Stoll move has more to do with attempting to bolster the fourth line now that Jordan Nolan has to fill in for Trevor Lewis, but I also kind of don't care because this is game 2 of 82.
  • The Coyotes lost 6-2 to the Jets at home in their season opener. I have no idea whether that was an actual thumping or just a Mike Smith special, but if the Kings are smarting from being shutout by the Sharks, the Coyotes likely aren't far behind.
  • Prediction: Kings win in the shootout, 3-2, because this team never saw a lead against the Coyotes that they didn't love almost blowing.