Game Day #3, Kings @ Wild: Purcell Set to Sit (Already)

Plus, it looks like a Kings debut for Tom Gilbert.

And everyone says Los Angeles Kings fans overreact to losses?

All right, all right, Darryl Sutter playing his lineup on shuffle doesn’t mean that he’s overreacting. This is what he (and indeed, most coaches) do when things aren’t working in the regular season. Having said that, putting in all three skaters who sat on Friday is a little bit surprising even for him.

Here’s how to watch tonight’s game, as well as your lineup news!

Los Angeles Kings @ Minnesota Wild

Start Time: 5:00 PM Pacific

TV: Fox Sports West

Radio: KABC 790 AM

Streaming: Fox Sports Go (requires cable subscription)

Minnesota Wild (via Michael Russo):

Parise - Staal - Coyle
Granlund - Koivu - Stewart
Niederreiter - Haula - Pominville
Zucker - Dalpe - Pulkkinen

Suter - Spurgeon
Scandella - Dumba
Brodin - Folin


Los Angeles Kings (via Jon Rosen):

King - Kopitar - Toffoli
Pearson - Carter - Setoguchi
Brown - Shore - Lewis
Andreoff - Dowd - Nolan

McNabb - Doughty
Muzzin - Martinez
Forbort - Gilbert


Key Changes:

  • An early wakeup call for Teddy Purcell. It’s frustrating to see LA’s “big” free agent signing already on course for a night in the press box, but in Sutter’s defense, Purcell hasn’t really done anything this season. On Saturday, he didn’t get a shot, didn’t make a hit, was on the ice for two goals against, and had the worst possession numbers on the team. He also had the most difficult zone starts on the team and faced top-six competition, but if you’re placed into the top six yourself, you’ve gotta make it work. With Pearson coming back, he was the obvious candidate to be demoted. (Setoguchi will get the plum assignment with Pearson and Carter.)
  • Matt Greene, not Derek Forbort, is getting the hook. The third pairing was all kinds of awful on Saturday, and when I texted “RIP Forbort” to my brother after the game, I probably wasn’t alone. But in a bit of a surprise, Sutter is sticking with the 24-year-old and benching the 33-year-old. It’s a sensible move for a team looking for an offensive spark, but it also puts more of the defensive responsibility on Forbort. It shows trust, though, which is nice.
  • Nic Dowd slots in for... Clifford? Perhaps fourth-line rotations are going to be a thing all season. Even so, it was a surprise to see the only guy who actually played multiple playoff games last year scratched. Aside from the occasional night off, Clifford’s lineup spot has never really been in jeopardy. Maybe it is now, as with Dowd slotting in at center, either Andreoff or Nolan could have been scratched instead.
  • Muzzin-Doughty, gone so young. The attempt to reunite LA’s top two defensemen lasted all of two games./

“Official” game preview to come later. Don’t freak out, it’s early.