Kings/Jackets: time to tighten up [Game #68 Preview]
Kings Roster Notes: (IN) Jonathan Bernier (2.63 GAA, .905 SV%), Kevin Westgarth. (OUT) Brad Richardson, Davis Drewiske, Peter Harrold, Scott Parse.
Jacket Roster Notes: (IN) Steve Mason (3.01 GAA, .903 SV%). Center Derick Brassard, earlier thought to be questionable due to his ankle, is still slated to play on the top line tonight. Upshall, recently acquired from Phoenix, is also set to play. (OUT) Sami Lepisto has been a healthy scratch recently, but the defense pairs haven't been confirmed yet. For more info, see the Puck Rakers blog and The Cannon.
Columbus is another team stinging from a loss where they gave up a 3 goal lead, falling to St. Louis in OT. As they've gone 0-3-3 in their last six games, the Kings should be wary of a team that's likely to be seething with frustration tonight. For them, tonight is a must win. While it feels like almost every Western team can say that, they're closer to the edge.
Derick Brassard is finally healthy again, and we've seen first-hand how dangerous his speedy line with Voracek and Nash can be. The Kings lead the season series 2-1, but all three games were sloppy affairs with lots of turnovers. I'd like to see them tighten up and play more responsibly tonight.
There's been good news on the
front, though: he has a 3 game point streak going, and that's not even counting his 'assist' in the win over Phoenix. Kopitar and Williams are also hot. So far so good. Bernier is starting over Quick, and I think that's fine -- why not keep both goalies rested on this road trip? I feel like TM has more trust in his backup now, and he's earned it. So please keep giving all of our netminders some goal support, Kings. Defense helps too.81 points would vault them over Calgary with games in hand.