Preview, Game Day #13: Los Angeles Kings @ Toronto Maple Leafs

Nazem Kadri is playing. Tom Gilbert is not.

Los Angeles Kings (6-6-0) @ Toronto Maple Leafs (5-4-3)

Start Time: 4:30 PM Pacific

TV: Fox Sports West

Radio: none

Video Streaming: Fox Sports Go (requires cable subscription)
Audio Streaming: MLB Advanced Media app

Los Angeles Kings

Pearson - Kopitar - Purcell
King - Carter - Toffoli
Brown - Dowd - Setoguchi
Clifford - Shore - Lewis

Forbort - Doughty
Muzzin - Martinez
Gravel - Greene


Toronto Maple Leafs

Hyman - Matthews - Nylander
van Riemsdyk - Bozak - Marner
Komarov - Kadri - Brown
Martin - Smith - Soshnikov

Rielly - Zaitsey
Gardiner - Polak
Marincin - Carrick


What Kings fans will be watching for: LA is riding high despite the fact that five of their top six forwards haven’t scored in five games. Secondary scoring has a way of drying up, and this offers an opportunity for the big guns to get back on track.

What Maple Leafs fans will be watching for: Apparently, they’ll be watching to see how many more players Nazem Kadri can blindside before he gets suspended.

Yes, good, focus on that.

What everyone else will be watching for: Tonight’s a measuring stick game for the Maple Leafs, who have won three in a row, but against three of the league’s worst teams in 2015-16. A win over Edmonton is impressive, sure. But now that the Leafs are beginning to make waves, beating the Kings would provide a measure of legitimacy. The same could be said of the Kings, whose only road win this season was an OT victory in Columbus.

Stat of the Day: The Kings’ big three defensemen averaging over 23 minutes of ice time per game; no other team has more than two except for Nashville’s big four. Morgan Rielly leads the Leafs with only 22:30 per game.

Key Players: Anze Kopitar and Auston Matthews. The two first-line centers lead their teams in ice time among forwards; like the d-men, Kopitar’s average ice time of 21:45 is way out in front of Matthews’ average ice time of 17:21. However, Matthews’ 6 goals and 11 points are way out in front of Kopitar’s. That’s fine! We know Kopitar is still Kopitar! And tonight, Kopitar’s night will be judged more by whether Matthews is shut down than by whether he gets back in the goal column.

Prediction: Auston Matthews and Mitchell Marner are really scary.