KINGS (19-7-4) at CANADIENS (19-9-3)
4:00PM PT, TV: FOX SPORTS WEST; RADIO: AM 1150
STINGY WAYS: The Kings and Canadiens are two of the toughest defensive clubs in the NHL. They’re tied for second in the league with a stellar 2.00 GAA – only behind the Boston Bruins and their 1.97 GAA mark. Every goal is going to prove to be extremely precious tonight, especially the first. The Kings are 13-2-2 this season when scoring the first goal in a game. Holding the lead in Montreal tonight will be much easier than coming back from a deficit.
BIENVENUE AU MONTREAL: This is the first time in over three calendar years that the Kings have visited Montreal, Quebec. Their last skate on the Canadiens’ home ice came on November 24th, 2010 – when they lost in grueling fashion 4-1. Alec Martinez scored his first-career NHL goal on that night, in what was his fifth-career NHL game. Martinez fed a laser to Anze Kopitar Saturday night, assisting on the Kings’ game-winning goal against the New York Islanders; can Martinez find magic in Montreal again and record his first goal of the season?
MARTY IN MTL
HOT SPOT: Tonight is a clash of two clubs that have both been tearing up their opponents. The Kings have lost only once in regulation time in their past 15 (10-1-4) games. The Canadiens lost only once in regulation time in their past 14 (11-1-2) games. In those hot streaks, the Kings never allowed more than two goals to opposition in regulation time; the Canadiens have allowed three goals just once. This one should be a dandy.
PROFESSOR’S KNOWLEDGE: There’s a solid chance Ben Scrivens returns to the crease for the Kings tonight. He has the most experience against the Montreal Canadiens in recent years; two seasons in a Toronto Maple Leafs uniform. Scrivens has three career starts against the Canadiens, including his NHL debut on April 7th, 2011 at Montreal’s Bell Centre. Scrivens is 1-2-0 in those three starts, allowing nine goals on a combined 88 shots. He’s stopped 84 of 93 Montreal Canadiens shots in his career.
OR: A third consecutive start for Martin Jones wouldn’t be crazy. Just like Ben Scrivens’ familiarity with the Montreal Canadiens is, Martin Jones unfamiliarity with the Canadiens and theirs with him, is a tool in Sutter’s shed. He’s a hidden weapon that Darryl Sutter might just call for. Jones is 2-0-0 with a .955 SV% marking in with a 0.97 GAA in his first two NHL starts.
DAVIS PAIN: Not Assistant Coach Davis Payne. To those awaiting a Davis Drewiske reunion with the Kings, it won’t happen during tonight’s bout. Drewiske is out for another three months or so after undergoing shoulder surgery from an injury suffered in training camp in September.
MONTREAL’S HOT: The Canadiens haven’t lost a game in regulation in their past 10 contests, going 9-0-1. The Kings can make an impression in Northeastern Canada that will catch word across the NHL with a win tonight. They already own Western Canada, why not the other side.
A KING IN MONTREAL
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Catch KINGS LIVE at 3:30 on FOX SPORTS WEST followed with Bob and Jim on the live play-by-play call from Bell Centre in Montreal, QC at 4:00.