KINGS (29-14-5) at RED WINGS (20-17-10)
4:00PM PT, TV: FOX SPORTS WEST; RADIO: AM 1150
LAST RIDE: The Kings are in the Motor City tonight for their second and final meeting with the Detroit Red Wings this season. The previous contest between these two clubs came just a week ago today, when the Red Wings chipped away for a 3-1 win at STAPLES Center on January 11. Can the Kings split the season series with a win tonight at Joe Louis Arena?
ROAD-ICE ADVANTAGE: Detroit is a lowly 6-10-7 this season at their historic home facility Joe Louis Arena. For the first time in 28 seasons, the Red Wings are on pace to finish below .500 in their home building. The Red Wings haven’t played in Downtown, Detroit since January 23, and kick-off a five-game home stand tonight against the Kings. Can the Kings take advantage of the Red Wings’ struggles at Joe Louis Arena tonight?
THE LAST TIME WE WERE THERE: The Kings dropped both of their visits to Joe Louis Arena last season, falling 3-2 on February 10, 2013, and most recently 3-1 on April 24, 2013. Kyle Clifford dialed in the only goal for the Kings in their last visit in April, and Trevor Lewis, who scored his first two goals of the season Thursday night in St. Louis, chimed in with the assist. Can the Kings bring balanced scoring with them to Detroit tonight?
CLIFFORD SEES RED
COMING INTO TONIGHT: Both the Kings and Red Wings enter tonight’s bout with a 4-5-1 record in their previous 10 games. Detroit has lost two consecutive games, getting shutout in both contests 1-0, and have just two wins in their past seven affairs. The Kings, however, are rebounding magnificently after a tough stretch that saw them lose five consecutive games, going 4-0-1 in the five games since that season-long losing streak.
GOTTA CRACK JIMMY: In the Kings’ loss to Detroit last Saturday night, they fired 45 shots on Red Wings’ goaltender Jimmy Howard, only to see one goal come out of those efforts, when Drew Doughty rocketed home a tally during a Kings 5-on-3 power play. Howard made 47 saves against the New York Rangers Thursday night, but Detroit couldn’t get on the scoreboard, and Howard’s efforts tanked to result in a 1-0 loss for the Red Wings.
Jimmy Howard has made 91 saves on 93 shots in his previous two games played, and has allowed two goals or less in four of his six games back with the Red Wings since returning from a knee-sprain.
Who cracks Jimmy tonight?
TURN IT AROUND: Dating back to November 19, 2011, the Kings are a lowly 2-6-0 against the Red Wings in their past eight regular season meetings. Can the Kings find a way to overcome and beat a struggling, injury-plagued Detroit roster tonight, in their home building where they’ve struggled mightily in throughout the season?
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Catch KINGS LIVE on FOX SPORTS WEST at 3:30 PT, followed with Bob and Jim on the live play-by-play call on scene at Joe Louis Arena for puck drop at 4:00 PT.