Preview, Game Day #28: Los Angeles Kings @ Pittsburgh Penguins

Sidney Crosby? Sidney Crosby. Sidney Crosby! (I'm speaking a new language called "NHL PR".)

Los Angeles Kings @ Pittsburgh Penguins

Time: 4:00 Pacific

TV: Fox Sports West, Root Sports Pittsburgh, Sportsnet One, TVAS2

Enemy Reading: Pensburgh

Los Angeles Kings




Scratched: Forbort Injured: Clifford, King, Lewis, Greene

Pittsburgh Penguins



Injured: Letang, Rust

Stats & Such
(Fancy stats courtesy War on Ice)

Team Kings Penguins
Record 18-8-1 15-10-2
Points 37 32
Division Rank 1st 4th
Streak Won 5
Won 1
Goals For/Game 2.63 2.41
Goals Against/Game 2.11
ES Goal % 50.0
ES Shot %
55.1 49.6
ES PDO 98.7
ES Corsi % 57.6 48.5
ES Fenwick % 56.7 48.7
ES Scoring Chance % 55.7 49.6
ES High-Danger SC % 53.8
Power Play % (Rank) 18.1 (19th)
16.1 (27th)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 84.2 (5th)
83.9 (8th)
Starting Goalie (tonight) Quick Fleury
Goalie Record 15-7-1 13-9-1
Save % .917 .926
ES Save % .925


  • The Eastern Conference road trip continues tonight in Pittsburgh, and you're about to get another quickie preview. First of all, it's Friday and I have ~things to do~. Secondly, this game is in, like, 3 1/2 hours. I know, east coast games are so weird right? Get used to it cause we've got like another 11 days of this.
  • So let's quickly hit some highlights: on the Kings side, Michael Mersch is expected to make his NHL debut tonight! The winger has put up 12 goals and 3 assists in 19 games so far with the AHL Ontario Reign, and was a natural call-up following Kyle Clifford's injury. According to the line rushes Mersch actually gets to start on the 3rd line, as he'll line up with Nick Shore & Dustin Brown. My Actual Husband Andy Andreoff will thus get bumped down to the 4th line with the two Jordans, Weal & Nolan. Andreoff has been better since getting moved to the wing, so that 4th line has a chance to be not-garbage for the first time in a while. Mersch-Shore-Brown has the potential to be a hell of a 3rd line, depending on how quickly Michael can get acclimated with the NHL game. These lines thus have the John Seal of Approval.
  • Meanwhile, in Pittsburgh.....uh, I don't really know what's going on with the Penguins, like at all. The Penguins are currently scoring at a rate of 2.41 goals-per-game. That's .22 goals less than the Kings, but amazingly is actually up a tiny bit from their goals-per-game last year (2.37). Still, I'm sure when the Penguins acquired Phil Kessel in the offseason they expected a bit more of a leap than that! Kessel so far has 9 goals and 8 assists for 17 points in 27 games. Those numbers aren't, like, atrocious or anything, but at 0.63 points-per-game that would be down from what he put up with the Maple Leafs last year (61 points in 82 games, or 0.74 PPG). Conventional hockey wisdom says Kessel should be exceeding last year's totals now that he's playing with one of the two best centers in the world every night, but yet again we're seeing the opposite happen. Shrug!
  • In general the Penguins are a very confounding team this season, with mediocre advanced stats, more wins than losses, but a general feeling of malaise around them. Luckily for me I happen to have a lot of friends and followers on Twitter who are Penguins fans (for, uh, some reason), so I decided to just put out an open call to them all for help. Penguins fans, please explain your team to me in one sentence or less:

  • And there you have it. I'm not sure what else I can add to that. Oh, Kris Letang is out tonight.
  • Let's quickly play a game of which Mega Man villain are you, Penguins? I don't think I even need to explain this one: obviously they are Frost ManFROST MAN!!! I mean, he's literally a giant walking igloo. So yes, he is the Penguins. You may notice his sprite is a lot bigger than the rest; that's because he's from Mega Man 8, aka the Playstation entry in the series (that the fanbase is deeply divided on). As a sidenote, if I was including the Mega Man X series they would obviously be Chill Penguin, but I'm not!
  • PREDICTION: Kings win in overtime 4-3 after scoring 2 goals in the final minute to tie it, because why the hell not.