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At the Rink blog

Penguins' Zatkoff gets start against Kings

Thursday, 03.27.2014 / 1:10 PM

By Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent / 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

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2013-2014 At the Rink Blog
Penguins' Zatkoff gets start against Kings

PITTSBURGH -- Goaltender Jeff Zatkoff will start for the Pittsburgh Penguins against the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.

Zatkoff, who was drafted in the third round (No. 74) by the Kings in 2006, has gone 12-2-1 since beginning the season 0-2-0. The Penguins have lost eight of their past 11 games in which No. 1 goalie Marc-Andre Fleury has started. He'll go Friday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

"We started the season with [Zatkoff] and you can look at his first game, and people wondered if he could play," Bylsma said. "He played a second game, I think it was a loss to the [New York] Islanders and you still have those questions. Right now, you look at the wins he's got this year, it's pretty impressive.

"He's played well for us. He's played strong for us. He's won hockey games for us."

Goaltender Martin Jones, Zatkoff's former American Hockey League teammate with the Manchester Monarchs, will start for Los Angeles. Goalie Jonathan Quick started back-to-back nights on March 24 and 25.

Despite frustration stemming from consecutive home losses, the Penguins will most likely not make any other lineup changes.

After scoring two first-period goals against the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday, the Penguins failed to score a goal in the final two periods of their 3-2 loss. But injuries have limited Bylsma's options.

Forward Brandon Sutter will center the second line for the second straight game with forward Evgeni Malkin sidelined with a foot injury. Pittsburgh used forward Jussi Jokinen at center in the absence of forward Sidney Crosby at the end last season, but now does not want to take him off of the second line's left wing, where he has scored a bulk of his 51 points and 18 goals this season.

Los Angeles defenseman Drew Doughty said the Penguins' injuries have not impacted the Kings' preparation.

"We're expecting them to come out hard, looking to pop a lot of goals," Doughty said. "We don't want to get into that goal-scoring chance match with them because if any team challenges them that way, they have the firepower, the goal-scoring abilities.

"We have to play our game. The physical, hard, good defensive game and that's how we're going to win tonight."

Here are the expected lineups for the Penguins and Kings:


Marian GaborikAnze KopitarJustin Williams

Tanner PearsonJeff CarterTyler Toffoli

Dwight KingJarret StollDustin Brown

Kyle CliffordMike RichardsTrevor Lewis

Jake MuzzinDrew Doughty

Slava VoynovRobyn Regehr

Willie MitchellAlec Martinez

Martin Jones

Jonathan Quick

Scratched: Trevor Lewis, Jordan Nolan, Matt Greene

Injured: None


Chris KunitzSidney CrosbyLee Stempniak

Jussi JokinenBrandon SutterJames Neal

Taylor PyattMarcel GocBrian Gibbons

Tanner GlassCraig AdamsJayson Megna

Olli MaattaMatt Niskanen

Simon DespresRob Scuderi

Brooks OrpikRobert Bortuzzo

Jeff Zatkoff

Marc-Andre Fleury

Scratched: Deryk Engelland

Injured: Evgeni Malkin (foot), Kris Letang (stroke), Paul Martin (broken hand), Joe Vitale (upper body), Chris Conner (broken foot), Pascal Dupuis (ACL), Tomas Vokoun (pelvis)

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 NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic, the second one of his career after 2011 in Pittsburgh