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At the Rink blog

Kings' Doughty focused on outplaying Habs' Subban

Tuesday, 12.10.2013 / 2:38 PM

By Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com / 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

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2013-2014 At the Rink Blog
Kings' Doughty focused on outplaying Habs' Subban

MONTREAL -- In spite of the fact they practically never play each other, the game Tuesday between the Los Angeles Kings and Montreal Canadiens has a ton of interesting storylines.

Each team is on an extended roll, are playing well defensively and rely on a young, dynamic defenseman who eats a lot of minutes.

On that last point, Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said he sees it as his responsibility to outplay Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban.

"Even though it's a matchup between both teams," Doughty said, "in order for us to win I have to outplay P.K."

The one area in which Doughty would love to see him and his teammates outplay Subban would be on the power play, where the Kings have not scored in eight straight games, going 0-for-30 in that span.

Doughty expressed some concern over the power play's recent efficiency, which got a chuckle out of coach Darryl Sutter.

"It's good if Drew’s concerned," Sutter said, "because he plays a lot on it."

Sutter would not confirm his starting goaltender for the game, but Martin Jones was first off the ice following the morning skate, which would suggest he will get the start for a third straight game. Ben Scrivens, the NHL's save percentage leader at .943, was slated to start Saturday at home against the New York Islanders and led the team on the ice for warm-ups, only to have Jones start the game and earn his first NHL shutout in a 3-0 win.

In Jonathan Quick's absence due to a groin injury, Sutter has had nothing to complain about when it comes to his goaltending.

"They're both kids and they're both trying to buy us some time until Jonathan Quick comes back," he said. "Whichever one plays best gets to play."

It would be tempting to look at the numbers posted by Scrivens and Jones and assume Quick's success over his career may be a byproduct of his team more than him.

Not so fast, said captain Dustin Brown.

"We don't give up very many chances," Brown said. "But in regards to [Quick], what makes him special is he has to make two or three hard saves a night. Then there are two or three saves he has no business making a night and he does. That's what makes him so great.

"[Scrivens and Jones], on the other hand, have come in with an opportunity to show the world that they can come in and play and they've both done really well."

Sutter said defenseman Matt Greene is ready to return from an upper-body injury that has cost him 15 games but he won't play against Montreal, joining Matt Frattin and Linden Vey in the press box.

For the Canadiens, Carey Price will start in goal and defenseman Francis Bouillon will take Douglas Murray's spot in the lineup after sitting out the past two games.

Here's how the lineups for the Canadiens and Kings could look:

KINGS

Dwight King - Anze Kopitar - Jeff Carter

Dustin Brown - Jarret Stoll - Justin Williams

Kyle Clifford - Mike Richards - Tyler Toffoli

Daniel Carcillo - Colin Fraser - Jordan Nolan

Jake Muzzin - Drew Doughty

Robyn Regehr - Slava Voynov

Willie Mitchell - Alec Martinez

Martin Jones

Ben Scrivens

Scratched: Matt Frattin, Linden Vey, Matt Greene

Injured: Trevor Lewis (lower body), Jonathan Quick (groin)

CANADIENS

Alex Galchenyuk - Tomas Plekanec - Brian Gionta

Max Pacioretty - David Desharnais - Brendan Gallagher

Michael Bournival - Lars Eller - Daniel Briere

Travis Moen - Brandon Prust - Ryan White

Andrei Markov - P.K. Subban

Josh Gorges - Alexei Emelin

Francis Bouillon - Raphael Diaz

Carey Price

Peter Budaj

Scratched: George Parros, Douglas Murray

Injured: Rene Bourque (upper body), Davis Drewiske (knee)

Quote of the Day

I downplayed the first one because I thought it's just a hockey game. We just want to win the game; it's against our rival and we want the two points. I downplayed it, but now having gone through the first one I look back and say, 'Geez, that was really cool.' I think as I've grown a bit older I've got a lot more appreciation for what we're allowed to do every day.

— Capitals forward Brooks Laich on the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, the second one of his career after 2011 in Pittsburgh