MAPLE LEAFS (35-24-8) at KINGS (38-22-6)
7:30PM PT, TV: FOX SPORTS WEST; RADIO: AM 1150
A SHOT AT T-DOT: This is the second and final meeting with the Toronto Maple Leafs this season. The Kings were victorious in their first meeting with the Maple Leafs at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre on December 11, winning 3-1 with two third-period goals and a 39-save performance from goaltender Martin Jones. Tonight marks Toronto’s first visit to STAPLES Center since January 10, 2011, which was the last time the Maple Leafs recorded a win against the Kings.
WE LOVE CANADA: The Kings, in their return home to Los Angeles, are coming off a three-game road swing through Canada’s Provinces of Manitoba and Alberta, going 3-0-0, outscoring the Jets, Oilers, and Flames 10-5 in their latest string of success that has seen them compile together eight consecutive wins. Toronto, prior to tonight, has been testing California’s waters. On Monday, they beat the Anaheim Ducks 3-1, but fell 6-2 to the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday.
FLAWLESS APPROACH: The Kings are 7-2-1-1 against the Maple Leafs in their last 11 meetings, dating back to January 17, 2001. The last time the Kings played Toronto, they were amidst a six-game win streak. This time around, they’re riding eight straight wins. The Kings’ only two regulation losses against the Maple Leafs in the last 13 years have come in Toronto’s last two visits to STAPLES Center. Can the Kings nix Toronto at the corner of Figueroa St./Chick Hearn Blvd. tonight for the first time since January 10, 2008?
LET IT BERN: Jonathan Bernier returns to STAPLES Center tonight for the first time since the Kings traded their former backup goaltender to Toronto on June 23, 2013. Bernier went 29-20-6 in 62 regular season games with the Kings over the course of four seasons. Bernier is 25-16-7 in 49 games with the Maple Leafs this season. Bernier stopped 20 of 23 Kings shots in his first appearance against his former team on December 11.
PLAY US A RECORD: The Kings have numerous records, milestones intertwined into tonight’s affair with Toronto:
- Tonight marks the Kings’ 100th consecutive sellout at STAPLES Center, which continues to shatter a 78-game streak set during Wayne Gretzky’s arrival in Los Angeles at Inglewood’s Great Western Forum. The current sellout streak started on December 3, 2011 against the Montreal Canadiens.
- The Kings are a win away from tying the franchise mark of consecutive victories, nine-straight wins, which was set January 21, – February 6, 2010.
- Jonathan Quick (170) is one win away from tying Rogie Vachon (171) for the franchise lead in wins as a goaltender.
- Darryl Sutter comes into tonight with 499 wins as an NHL head coach. With a win tonight, he would become the 18th NHL coach to reach the 500-win mark.
FROM ONTARIO WITH LOVE: The Kings’ last meeting with the Maple Leafs (3-1 W) on December 11 saw all three goals scored by natives of Ontario, Canada (Drew Doughty (1G), Jeff Carter (1G, 1A), Kyle Clifford (1G)). Eight of the nine points registered by Kings players in that game came from Ontario, Canada natives (Mike Richards (1A), Tyler Toffoli (1A), Jordan Nolan (1A)). Slava Voynov (1A), who originates from Chelyabinsk, Russia, was the only non-Ontario, Canada Kings born and bred player to record a point against the Maple Leafs on December 11.
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Catch KINGS LIVE on FOX SPORTS WEST at 7:00, followed with Bob and Jim on the live play-by-play call on scene at STAPLES Center for puck-drop at 7:30PM PT.