SATURDAY NIGHT’S ALL RIGHT:
Tonight marks the second and final meeting with the Sabres this season, and Buffalo’s lone visit to STAPLES Center. The Sabres are playing the final of a three-game California road trip; they’re coming off of a 3-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Friday night. The Kings are playing the third of a three-game home stand; they’re coming off of a 2-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night.
THE PIECE: Defenseman Rob Scuderi, who the Kings acquired in a deal with the Chicago Blackhawks Friday, joined the team for the morning skate. Scuderi skated with Brayden McNabb on the right side, and there’s a definite possibility he could draw into tonight’s lineup. “I’m eager to get to work,” Scuderi said Saturday morning. “I haven’t played a whole lot of hockey and I’m looking forward to getting back on the ice.”
LINEUP: The Kings held a morning skate at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo in anticipation of tonight’s game. Michael Mersch and Jamie McBain remained on the ice for extra work and are tonight’s presumed healthy scratches. Jhonas Enroth was the first goaltender to leave the ice and is expected to start in goal.
LUCIC – KOPITAR – BROWN
KING – CARTER – TOFFOLI
PEARSON – LECAVALIER – LEWIS
CLIFFORD – SHORE – ANDREOFF
MUZZIN – DOUGHTY
MARTINEZ – SCHENN
MCNABB – SCUDERI
ENROTH’S IN: Goaltender Jhonas Enroth will see face his former team for the second time this season when he draws in for his 11th start tonight. Enroth, 4-5-1 with a .926 SV% and a 2.19 GAA in 12 appearances this season, stopped 28 of the 30 shots he faced in the Kings’ 2-1 OT loss to the Sabres on December 12. Enroth’s previous start came on February 14 in New Jersey, where he made 17 saves on 18 shots in the Kings’ 1-0 loss to the Devils at the Prudential Center.
THE LAST TIME AROUND: In the Kings’ first meeting with the Sabres this season on December 12 at Buffalo’s First Niagara Center, they fell 2-1 in overtime. Marian Gaborik was the only player to score for the Kings, finding the net five minutes into the contest with assists from Anze Kopitar and Tanner Pearson. Jamie McGinn scored for Buffalo shorty thereafter, and Ryan O’Reilly buried the overtime-winner. Jhonas Enroth made 28 saves on 30 shots faced in the OT-loss.
EICHEL IN LA: Jack Eichel, the Sabres’ #2 overall selection in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, will make his STAPLES Center debut tonight. Eichel’s 41 points this season are the third-most among NHL rookies. He ranks fifth in goals (17) among rookies and third in assists (24). Eichel didn’t record any points in his first meeting with the Kings on December 12, but registered five shots in 20:16 minutes played.
SABRES AT STAPLES: The Kings haven’t surrendered a goal on home ice to the Sabres since their 4-2 loss to Buffalo on October 8, 2011. Since then, the Kings have racked up a pair of 2-0 shutout victories when hosting Buffalo. In the Kings’ 2-0 win against the Sabres at STAPLES Center last season on October 24, 2014, Jeff Carter and Anze Kopitar scored, Carter led the Kings with two points (1G, 1A).
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Catch the ‘Kings Live’ pregame show at 7:30 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 8:00. As always, you can listen to Jon Rosen and Daryl Evans call the action over the radio airwaves on AM 790 KABC.