Vermette is recovering from a lower-body injury and Arizona coach Dave Tippett told the Arizona Republic after the Coyotes' morning skate at Staples Center that, "He's got a chance tonight."
Center Dustin Jeffrey replaced Vermette in the Coyotes lineup Monday in a 4-3 in overtime win against the Anaheim Ducks. Goalie Mike Smith is expected to start for the Coyotes. He beat the Kings on Oct. 9 but is 2-6-1 with a 4.33 goals-against average and .860 save percentage in his past nine games.
Kings defenseman Derek Forbort is expected to play for the second straight game. He took line rushes here at Toyota Sports Center with partner Jamie McBain while veteran defenseman Christian Ehrhoff was one of the extras.
Kopitar was hit in the face by the butt end of the stick of St. Louis Blues forward Ryan Reaves on Tuesday. Kopitar left the game bleeding in the mouth and there was concern because it was a hit to the head, but he reported no substantial effects after he took part in the morning skate.
"(It's) obviously not the best feeling," Kopitar said. "I'm lucky that it hasn't happened to me before. Maybe that's why (there's) a little bigger concern, because you don't know what you're dealing with. But I went through all the protocol, as you call it. I feel good and the tests are good. I'm good to go for tonight."
The Canucks made Virtanen, 19, the sixth pick of the 2014 NHL Draft.
"It's pretty exciting to finally get my first game in here and a pretty cool place to get it," Virtanen said in video posted by the Canucks website. "My family is going to be here for it, so it's going to be pretty exciting to see them out here supporting me. I'm looking forward to just getting out there and getting started."
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- A familiar face will be in the opposing goal when the Los Angeles Kings play the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday at Staples Center (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN).
Goalie Martin Jones is expected to start for Sharks in his first game against his former team since he was traded by the Kings this summer. Jones had served as the backup to Kings goalie Jonathan Quick the previous two seasons.
"He comes from a good program," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said of Jones. "He comes from playing with a great goalie and that can only benefit the long picture. He's also a good player. Good for him. You want every player you've coached or been associated with to play at the highest level they can. Good for [Jones]."
The Kings will be shorthanded because left wing Dwight King is on injured reserve with a lower-body injury and defenseman Matt Greene is not expected to play because of an upper-body injury. Defenseman Jeff Schultz is expected to be paired with Christian Ehrhoff, who will make his Kings debut.
ANAHEIM --Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau could be trying out some new wrinkles in his bottom-six forward group for Game 7 of the Western Conference Final against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).
"I wanted to see it in practice today," Boudreau said. "We tried that a little bit. I wanted to make sure that if that's the route we're going to go, then I wanted to see if they at least had sort of some good chemistry together. We talked about it and we'll talk about it again [Saturday] morning. By no means are those set in stone, those lines today."
ANAHEIM -- The number was so unusual that Anaheim Ducks right wing Kyle Palmieri almost shook his head and laughed when asked about it.
Palmieri directed 17 shots on net in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final on Tuesday. Eight were on net and nine missed. It came in a 3-2 triple-overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, the longest game at Honda Center and the second-longest in Ducks history.
The next closest player on either team in combined shots/missed shots was Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf's 12.
"I guess if you look at it, [I] almost played two full games," Palmieri said. "Our line was generating a lot. I thought both goalies played an incredible game."
ANAHEIM --Frederik Andersen emerged in the hallway outside the Anaheim Ducks locker room nearly an hour after Game 2 of the Western Conference Final had ended.
The second-year goalie understandably spent more time than usual hydrating and getting treatment but exhibited his usual calm after making a career-high 53 saves in a 3-2 triple-overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks at Honda Center.
Andersen couldn't remember playing a longer game. Ever.
"I'm not sure," Andersen said. "I think this is by far. I don't think I've ever gone to a second OT, actually."
We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.
— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut
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