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Preview: Kings look to defend home ice against high-flying Jets from the North

Team returns home to close out month after suffering poor, Black Friday results.

NHL: Los Angeles Kings at Winnipeg Jets James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

How to Watch

Game Time: 7:00 p.m. Pacific Time

TV: Fox Sports West

Radio: LA Kings Audio Network; iHeart Radio

The Opposition: Arctic Ice Hockey

What to Watch

  • Tonight’s contest marks the Kings’ third game in four days, having beaten the Islanders 4-1 Wednesday night at home before turning in a flat performance Friday afternoon, losing at San Jose by an identical score. The Kings are 6-5-2 this month, with all six victories coming at Staples Center. A win would set the franchise record for most wins in November. After tonight, the Kings begin a stretch during which they play 11 of their next 14 games on the road, a place which has not been kind to the team this year.
  • The Jets are having an even better month than the Kings, posting a November record of 10-2-1. Like the Kings, they will be playing their third game in four days, having beaten the Ducks yesterday in Anaheim 3-0, and the Sharks Wednesday 5-1 in San Jose, a performance which Mike McIntyre of the Winnipeg Free Press described as “dominating”. The Jets are not only feasting through California over the Thanksgiving holiday (or more appropriately, as the Canadian hockey press is always quick to point out, “American Thanksgiving”) they are riding a three-game win streak, and have won six of their last seven, including five of their last six away from Bell MTS Place.
  • In a battle of backup goalies, Jack Campbell gets the start in net for the Kings. This comes as no surprise, as Jonathan Quick has played five straight games, including yesterday’s loss to the Sharks, where he allowed four goals on the first 13 shots he faced. Campbell is 3-4-1 on the season with a 3.09 goals-against average and a .886 save percentage. This will be his fourth career start against the Jets, against whom he has a record of 0-2-1 with a 2.33 goals against average and a .933 save percentage. Jets coach Paul Maurice will most likely call upon 25-year old Laurent Brossoit to guard the net for the visitors. Brossoit carries a 3-2-1 record, 3.09 goals against and .878 save percentage into Staples Center and represents a significant drop-off in talent from Jets #1 goalie UMass-Lowell alum Connor Hellebuyck, who not only started the Jets last two games (both victories), but is also one shutout away from tying the all-time franchise record for shutouts.
  • Jets Assistant Coach Charlie Huddy returns to Los Angeles where he played parts of four seasons with the Kings. The former defenseman (or “defenceman” if you prefer) played 82 regular-season and 23 playoff games for the 1992-1993 Kings squad which lost to Montreal in the Stanley Cup finals (McSorely!!!!) A hockey lifer, Huddy played exactly 1200 NHL games including playoffs, before ending his playing career at age 38 riding the buses and manning the blueline for 63 games with the AHL Rochester Americans. Huddy is in his 20th season as an NHL assistant and his ninth year with the Jets. Fun hockey fact #1: Huddy is one of only seven players to play on all five of the Edmonton Oilers Stanley Cup-winning teams. (Everybody remembers the four Cups they won with Gretzky, but nobody outside “North America’s northernmost city with a metropolitan population over one million” seems to remember 1990 when current Kings goalie coach Bill Ranford backstopped the club to their fifth and last NHL title.)
  • The current Jets franchise began in 1999 as the Atlanta Thrashers before packing up the vans, and like the Atlanta Flames before them, leaving the New South for Western Canada. The original Winnipeg Jets were born in 1972 and played in the WHA before being absorbed into the NHL as a result of the 1979 merger between the two leagues. The original Jets left the Manitoba prairie for the Arizona desert in 1996 to become the Coyotes. Neither the original Jets, the Thrashers, nor the present Jets franchise has ever played in the Stanley Cup Finals. Fun hockey fact #2: Of the four WHA teams absorbed into the NHL as part of the 1979 merger, only the Edmonton Oilers “remain”. Not only did the Original Jets move to Arizona to become the Coyotes, but the Hartford Whalers moved to Carolina to become the Hurricanes, and the Quebec Nordiques became the Colorado Avalanche, winning the Cup their first season after moving to the Rocky Mountain State.

Lineups

Los Angeles Kings

Iafallo — Kopitar — Brown
Carter — Amadio — Toffoli
Kempe — Lizotte — Wagner
Clifford — Prokhorkin — Lewis

Hutton — Doughty
LaDue — Walker
Ryan — Roy

Campbell

Winnipeg Jets

Connor — Scheifele — Laine
Ehlers — Wheeler — Roslovic
Copp — Lowry — Perreault
Luoto — Gustafsson — Shaw

Morrissey — Poolman
Kulikov — Pionk
Bitetto — Sbisa

Brossoit