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Preview: Kings take on Coyotes in split squad action

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ACTUAL HOCKEY ACTION COMING AT YOU FINALLY

Arizona Coyotes v Los Angeles Kings Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NHLI via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Kings are starting their preseason out with not just one, but two games, against the Arizona Coyotes, played nearly simultaneously, in two completely different locations. Let’s dive in!

Feel free to use this post for a discussion thread for tonight’s games, if you find yourself trying to listen to one — or both! — audio broadcasts.

How to Watch (Away)

Game Time: 7:00 PM Pacific
TV: TBD
Radio: iHeart Radio (Coyotes channel)
The Opposition: Five for Howling

Lineups

Los Angeles Kings

Grundstrom - Amadio - Wagner
Sodergran - Lizotte - Fagemo
M. Kempe - Thomas - Dudas
Frk - Sutter - Bouma

Martinez - Roy
MacDermid - Walker
Anderson - Strand

Campbell
Villalta

Arizona Coyotes (per Jon Rosen)

Hayton - Stepan - Kessel
Grabner - Richardson - Fasching
Crouse - Schmaltz - Merkley
Steenbergen - Pedersen - Martin

Goligoski - Hjalmarsson
Chychrun - Soderstrom
Ness - Mayo

Raanta
Prosvetov

What to Watch

  • With the Kings not exactly sending their A squad to Glendale, while the Coyotes are trotting out a good number of NHL players (including newly acquired Phil Kessel) and their NHL goalie (Antti Raanta). The Kings have Alec Martinez as the designated grown-up, and then some guys. The main goal of this game should be making sure no one gets hurt, mostly.
  • The trio of Carl Grundstrom, Mike Amadio, and Austin Wagner have been skating together fairly regularly during camp and could be an intriguing option if they stick together to open the season. Amadio is essentially a lock for the team because he would now need waivers to be sent back down to Ontario, and pairing him with Grundstrom (power forward) and Wagner (heckin fast) could create some interesting chaos for opponents.
  • Blake Lizotte has made a strong impression with his play during the rookie games. It’s an uphill battle for him to steal a roster spot,
  • Jack Campbell and Matt Villalta will split the ice time. Villalta still could potentially be returned to juniors, so if he wants to make a case for himself to turn pro, he’ll need to start with a strong showing tonight.

How to Watch (Home)

Game Time: 7:30 PM Pacific
TV: TBD
Radio: iHeart Radio (Kings channel)
The Opposition: Five for Howling

Lineups (Home)

Los Angeles Kings

Arizona Coyotes (per Zach Dooley)

Forwards: Keller, Dvorak, Chaput, Miele, Soderberg, Fischer, Bennett, Bunting, Jenik, Schnarr, Burke, Garland
Defensemen: Russo, Lybushkin, Dineen, Demers, Smereck, Gross, Oesterle
Goaltenders: Kuemper, Hill

No line rushes were clear.

What to Watch

  • So if the line combinations of the NHL players holds — and they’ve been like this since the first day of camp — it looks like instead of moving Jeff Carter to the wing, they’re moving him to center what no one will call, but most definitely is, the fourth line on the actual real NHL team. RIP Jeff Carter Scoring Goals, We Knew You Well.
  • I’m excited to get a look at Sean Durzi, who’s been highly touted ever since being acquired by the Kings. Based on his performance in the rookie games, he’s got a bit of snarl to him as well, and could make for an interesting pairing with the more calm, stay-at-home presence of Tobias Bjornfot.
  • Much like in the away game, Jonathan Quick and Cal Petersen are expected to split the ice time tonight.
  • Any day we get to see Jaret Anderson-Dolan is a good day. While he played center with the Spokane Chiefs, he is a versatile player and can switch to the wings. Nikolai Prokhorkin has already shown some scoring prowess throughout camp and the trio of Anderson-Dolan, Prokhorkin, and Matt Luff has the potential to be a high-scoring line.