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Clinching a possibility as Kings host Bruins

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings


NEW ENGLAND TO LA: Tonight marks the second and final meeting with the Bruins this season and Boston’s lone visit to STAPLES Center. The Bruins are playing the third of a four-game road trip where they’ve gone 0-2-0 thus far; they’re coming off of a 4-0 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night. The Kings are finishing a two-game home stand tonight; they’re coming off of a 4-3 OT win over the New York Rangers on Thursday.

LINEUP: The Kings held a morning skate at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo in anticipation of tonight’s game. Andy Andreoff and Jamie McBain remained on the ice for extra work and are the presumed healthy scratches. Jonathan Quick left the ice first and will start in net. No changes were made to the lines used against the Rangers.

FORWARDS

LUCIC – KOPITAR – VERSTEEG
CLIFFORD – CARTER – BROWN
KING – SHORE – TOFFOLI
PEARSON – LECAVALIER – LEWIS
(ANDREOFF)

DEFENSEMEN

SCUDERI – DOUGHTY
MUZZIN – MARTINEZ
MCNABB – SCHENN
(MCBAIN)

GOALTENDERS

QUICK
(ENROTH)

ROAD WARRIORS: Although the Bruins have dropped the first two games of their California road trip where they’ve been outscored by the Sharks and Ducks by a combined score of 7-2, they carry the NHL’s third-best road record into the night with a 23-9-3 mark when playing away from Boston. The Bruins have struggled in recent years when playing at STAPLES Center, however, posting a 1-3-1 record in their last five visits to Los Angeles dating back to January 16, 2010. The Kings were victorious in Boston’s previous visit on December 2 of last season, a 2-0 shutout win.

THE LAST TIME AROUND: In the Kings’ previous meeting with the Bruins on February 9 at Boston’s TD Bank Arena, they won 9-2. All nine goals came from separate players, 15 of the Kings’ 18 skaters recorded at least one point, Milan Lucic (1G, 2A) led the team in points scored (3) in his return to Boston. Jonathan Quick made 35 saves in the win. Along with registering 57 shots on net, the Kings’ nine goals scored that night is the most of any NHL team in a single game this season.

PLAYOFFS?: There are three scenarios that could see the Kings clinch a playoff berth tonight. The other game affecting the Kings’ clinching fate is the Arizona Coyotes – Tampa Bay Lightning tilt which begins at 7:00 PM PST at Gila River Arena:

  • The Kings win in regulation or overtime AND the Coyotes lose in any fashion to the Lightning or beat the Lightning in a shootout.
  • The Kings win in a shootout AND the Coyotes lose in any fashion.
  • The Kings lose in overtime/shootout AND the Coyotes lose in regulation.

CLINCH AND GO: The goal for the Kings at the start of the season was to qualify for a postseason berth. With the team closing in on that accomplishment, the mindset remains simple, the ultimate goal still at stake: “We’re not really worried about just clinching a playoff spot, we’re looking at the ultimate goal, which is winning our division or winning our conference,” said Drew Doughty. “So yeah, I don’t think too many guys are looking at it as ‘yeah, we’re going to clinch a spot tonight’, we’re just looking to get two points and continue from there.”

Morning ahead of Boston. #LAKings - Bruins tonight at 7:30, @staplescenterla

A photo posted by LA Kings (@lakings) on

WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Catch the ‘Kings Live’ pregame show at 7:00 PM PST on Fox Sports West, followed with Nick Nickson and Jim Fox on the live play-by-play call from STAPLES Center for puck drop just after 7:30. You can listen to Jon Rosen and Daryl Evans call the action over the radio airwaves on AM 790 KABC.

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