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Preview: Trying To Assemble A Win Streak

Los Angeles poised to gain some ground during the road trip.

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Los Angeles Kings Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

How to Watch

Game Time: 5:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time

TV: Fox Sports West

Radio: iHeart Radio

The Opposition: Arctic Ice Hockey

What to Watch

  • No one has necessarily said it would be an easy season for the Los Angeles Kings this year, especially with the new coaching regime and injection of youth in the lineup. So to see the Kings in last place in the Pacific Division isn’t a surprise. The squad is tied for first place in the league in goals allowed per game (4.00) with the Minnesota Wild despite allowing only 28 shots per contest (second best mark in the NHL).
  • While on the flip side, the Winnipeg Jets are playing .500 hockey but don’t let that deceive you. They are currently in a five-game home stand that saw them drop three in a row while being outscored 14-5 during that stretch. It could have been stretched to a four-game losing skid but they notched a 1-0 shootout win over the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday where they gifted 10 giveaways to the opposition.
  • While a team like the Oilers are up in the watchability rankings due to the McDavid effect, the Kings have two players that have made the young season tolerable thus far. Anze Kopitar is maintaining a point-per-game pace with nine points in eight games played. If he keeps it up, he will easily surpass the 60 points he posted in 2018-19. Considering his two-way play style and his age (32), it’s remarkable to see the Slovenian play in 75 or more games each season since 2013-14. Blake Lizotte continues to impress, even getting praise from head coach Todd McLellan. “Might not be on the scoresheet every night, but he has an impact on the game positively, and he gets rewarded with ice time,“ McLellan said, according to the Los Angeles Times. From mustard packets to smelling salts, we’ve seen it all but it remains to be seen whether or not Lizotte has a secret stash of Popeye’s spinach somewhere. He would be playing college hockey at St. Cloud State right now if he wasn’t putting on a speeding and penalty drawing clinic in Los Angeles.
  • Connor Hellebuyck has kept Winnipeg steady with him in net. While his .929 save % and 2.28 GAA is just above league average, the Jets are undefeated (4-0) when he allows two goals or less. Just four seasons into his NHL career, Hellebuyck is already within the top 20 in wins among American goaltenders (eighth among active players) and could be be up there with Ryan Miller when all is said and done. Talk about American players doing work on Canadian teams (Hello, Auston Matthews).
  • Los Angeles has 3 power play goals on 32 chances this season while the Jets are entering Tuesday’s contest with the league’s worst penalty killing unit at 61.1 %.
  • Dustin Byfuglien has been the most notable subtraction from Winnipeg’s lineup this season. Although he’s 34 years old, his presence on the ice alone would automatically make the team’s blueline more stable. However, he has been suspended from the team as he missed training camp due to contemplating retirement after 14 years in the top rank. Only time will tell if he will return or not.

Lineups

Los Angeles Kings

Iafallo-Kopitar-Brown
Carter-Lizotte-Toffoli
Kovalchuk-Kempe-Lewis
Clifford-Amadio-Wagner

Hutton-Doughty
Martinez-Walker
MacDermid-Roy

Quick

Winnipeg Jets

Laine-Scheifele-Wheeler
Connor-Little-Ehlers
Copp-Lowry-Roslovic
Perreault-Gustafsson-Bourque

Morrissey-Poolman
Heinola-Pionk
Dahlstrom-Kulikov

Hellebuyck