HAWKS IN TOWN:
Tonight marks the second of three meetings with Chicago this season, and the Blackhawks’ only visit to STAPLES Center. The Kings fell 4-2 to the Blackhawks on November 2 at the United Center, where they’ll return on March 14 to complete the season series. Chicago is wrapping up a six-game road trip tonight, where they’ve gone 3-1-1 thus far, and are coming off of a 3-2 OT win over the Anaheim Ducks Friday afternoon. The Kings are beginning a four-game home stand, returning from a five-game trip that saw them post a 2-2-1 mark, they’re coming off of a 2-1 SO loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday night.
LINEUP: The Kings held a morning skate at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo in anticipation of tonight’s game. Jordan Weal and Derek Forbort remained on the ice for extra work and will be healthy scratches, Jonathan Quick left the ice first and will start in goal, Jeff Carter took the option and did not participate.
PEARSON – KOPITAR – GABORIK
LUCIC – CARTER – TOFFOLI
ANDREOFF – SHORE – BROWN
CLIFFORD – LEWIS – NOLAN
MCNABB – DOUGHTY
MUZZIN – MARTINEZ
EHRHOFF – MCBAIN
STOPPING HISTORY: Chicago’s Patrick Kane can set the record for most consecutive games with a point by an American-born player if he hits the score sheet against the Kings tonight. Kane, with an assist Friday in Anaheim, extended his point streak to 18 games, which began on October 17. During his 18-game streak, Kane has totaled 29 points (10G, 19A), with eight of those games multi-point performances. Kane recorded two points (1G, 1A) against the Kings on November 2, can they keep him in check tonight?
BABY VS BLOGGER: Who does TRH baby pick to win tonight’s game? Read the entire Royal Half Gameday Preview HERE!
HEY, DARLING: Scott Darling will start in net for the Blackhawks tonight after Corey Crawford posted a 23-save performance Friday in Anaheim. Tonight will mark Darling’s sixth start and seventh game of the season; the Blackhawks’ back-up is 2-2-1 in his five starts with a .912 SV% and a 2.51 GAA. Darling has made one career start against the Kings, coming on March 30 of last season, where he made 31 saves on 32 shots en route to Chicago’s 4-1 win. Jake Muzzin is the only King to have scored a goal on Darling.
THE LAST TIME AROUND: In the Kings’ previous meeting against the Blackhawks on November 2, they fell 4-2 as Chicago scored three third period goals to nail down the win. Alec Martinez and Anze Kopitar scored first period goals to give the Kings an early lead, Jonathan Quick made 22 saves in what was the Kings’ first road loss of the season. The Kings went 1-1-0 in hosting the Blackhawks twice at STAPLES Center last season, losing 4-1 on November 29, 2014 and winning 4-3 on January 28. The Kings are 2-9-0 in their last nine regular season games against Chicago on home ice.
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Catch the ‘Kings Live’ pregame show at 7:00 PM PST on FOX SPORTS WEST, followed with Bob and Jim on the play-by-play from STAPLES Center for puck drop just after 7:30. As always, you can listen to Nick Nickson and Daryl Evans call the action over the radio airwaves on AM 790 KABC.