The Matchup: The Los Angeles Kings (12-6-1) visit The New Jersey Devils (6-7-5)
The Last Meeting: It’s a memory I’ve tried to pretend doesn’t exist. Truth is, the Devils were a very different team the last time we played the Kings. Due to the shortened season last year we didn’t meet up with them so yes, the last time we played the Kings was the night we surrendered Lord Stanley’s cup to them. Now I need to go drink a few!!
Going Into Tonight’s Game: The Devils are coming off an impressive team effort against the New York Rangers in a game that saw the Rangers battle back twice to tie the game. It’s certainly one of those games that you hope get your team going on some type of winning streak. The Kings played last night and fell into a 2-0 hole after two periods of play to the Islanders but battled their way out of it and scored 3 goals in the third for a 3-2 regulation win. The bad news delivered to the Kings yesterday was that they will be without goalie Jonathan Quick somewhere in the neighborhood of 4-6 weeks.
Defensively Tonight: It somewhat falls in the category of defense but the Devils need to stay out of the box tonight. The Kings are deadly on the power play and if you give them too many opportunities, it’s going to cost you. The Kings have struggled to score goals outside their PP unit, although last night 2 of their 3 goals came at even strength hockey. I will certainly have my eye on the usual suspects tonight, Justin Williams and Mike Richards, and hopefully the Devils defense will too. Devils killer Jeff Carter has a broken foot and won’t be in tonight’s lineup.
Offensively Tonight: Keep moving the puck around and keep generating pressure on their goalie. While the Isles first goal last night was more of a misplaced rebound, their second was generated by getting the puck from one side to the other. This is exactly what the Devils need to do. With Quick out of the lineup, t's a real possibility that the Devils may see Martin Jones instead of Scrivens getting back-to-back starts. While Jones has been great in the AHL, that’s a situation most of us will gladly take. The possession game will be an interesting one to watch tonight as the Kings have dominated that game while the Devils have not. Would certainly be nice to see the Devils do better in this category, even though they beat a team that had such better puck possession the other night.
Word is that Gionta and Elias will be in the lineup tonight and that will probably mean that Tedenby and Josefson will get to sit out tonight. Elias is a guy you can’t make an argument against having in the lineup but Gionta is usually a different story. However, Josefson didn’t have a great game in NY and while Josefson probably is a better long term option than Gionta, in the short term that can’t be said. Adding to the “who do you sit” game would be Janssen’s two recent goals that keeps him in the lineup.
Fayne will also return to the ice for the injured Anton Volchenkov.
NHL Injury report: The Kings are without Quick, defensemen Matt Greene (undisclosed) and forwards Jeff Carter (broken foot), Kyle Clifford (head) and Jarret Stoll (upper body). … Ryane Clowe (head), Bryce Salvador (foot) and Jon Merrill (face) are on injured reserve for the and Volchenkov (lower body) is out for tonight but is day-to-day