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At the Rink blog

Leafs, Kings find themselves in need of a win

Monday, 12.19.2011 / 2:04 PM

By Dennis Ryan - NHL.com Correspondent / At the Rink blog

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At the Rink blog
Leafs, Kings find themselves in need of a win
TORONTO -- Tonight's matchup at the Air Canada Centre features two struggling teams in desperate need of a win. The Toronto Maple Leafs have lost four of their last five games, while the Los Angeles Kings have lost six of their last eight contests.
 
Kings interim head coach John Stevens will try to even his record after losing two of three games since taking over the reins after Terry Murray's dismissal. Darryl Sutter is expected to be officially introduced as the new head coach on Tuesday. 
 
James Reimer and Jonathan Quick will start between the pipes, both looking to rebound from poor performances. Reimer gave up five goals on 29 shots in Toronto’s 5-4 loss to Buffalo Friday night, while Quick got the early hook after surrendering three goals on eight shots in Los Angeles’ 8-2 loss Saturday night in Detroit.
 
Tim Connolly will center Toronto's top line for the first time in over a month, joining Joffrey Lupul and Phil Kessel. Tyler Bozak drops down to the third line.
 
For the Kings, defenseman Willie Mitchell returns to the lineup after missing six of the last seven games with a groin injury.
 
Here are tonight’s projected lineups:

KINGS
Dustin Brown - Anze Kopitar - Simon Gagne
Dustin Penner - Jarret Stoll - Justin Williams
Trevor Lewis - Andrei Loktionov - Brad Richardson
Kyle Clifford - Colin Fraser - Kevin Westgarth

Rob Scuderi - Drew Doughty
Jack Johnson - Willie Mitchell
Matt Greene - Davis Drewiske

Jonathan Quick
Jonathan Bernier
 
Scratches: D Slava Voynov, D Alec Martinez, RW Trent Hunter
 
Center Mike Richards, recovering from the effects of a concussion suffered Dec. 1, skated with the team again today but has not yet been approved for contact.
 
MAPLE LEAFS
Joffrey Lupul - Tim Connolly - Phil Kessel
Clarke MacArthur - Mikhail Grabovski - Nikolai Kulemin
Matt Frattin - Tyler Bozak - Colby Armstrong
Jay Rosehill - Philippe Dupuis - Joey Crabb

Carl Gunnarsson - Dion Phaneuf
Jake Gardiner - Luke Schenn
John-Michael Liles - Cody Franson

James Reimer
Jonas Gustavsson
 
Scratches: D Keith Aulie and RW Colton Orr

Center David Steckel is still out with bronchitis.
Quote of the Day

One player does not make your team. One player can help your team, but one player does not make your team. We're not a bare-bones organization.

— Columbus Blue Jackets president John Davidson
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