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In return home, Kings host struggling Flames

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings


THE RETURN HOME: Tonight marks the second of four meetings with the Flames this season and the first of Calgary’s two visits to STAPLES Center. The Flames are finishing their two-game road trip, and are coming off of a 5-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday night. The Kings are playing the first of a three-game home stand; they’re coming off of a 2-1 OT victory over the Nashville Predators on Saturday night.

LINEUP: The Kings held a morning skate at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo in anticipation of tonight’s game. Anze Kopitar, who missed Saturday’s game with an undisclosed injury, centered Milan Lucic and Dustin Brown on the first line, so he could return to the lineup tonight. Jordan Nolan, Michael Mersch and Kevin Gravel remained on the ice for extra work and are the presumed healthy scratches. Jonathan Quick left the ice first and is expected to start in net.

FORWARDS

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

DEFENSEMEN

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

GOALTENDERS

QUICK
(ENROTH)

ANZE ALL RIGHT?: There is a chance that Anze Kopitar could return to the Kings’ lineup tonight after missing Saturday’s game with an undisclosed lower-body injury. “It literally is one of those where it is like day-to-day,” Kopitar said of his injury Tuesday. “I’ve been progressively feeling better, and then we’ll just see where that takes me.” Kopitar’s 51 points (17G, 34A) leads the team.

JONI IN NET: Calgary’s Joni Ortio will make just his third start of the season tonight, he is 0-2-0 in his two starts with a 5.00 GAA and a .848 SV%. Ortio, who has started 17 games in his NHL career, has made three of those starts against the Kings. Ortio is 1-2-0 in his career against the Kings with a 2.00 GAA and a .926 SV%. He’s victorious in his one-career appearance at STAPLES Center, stopping 33 of 34 shots in the Flames’ 2-1 win on January 19, 2015.

THE LAST TIME AROUND: In the Kings’ first meeting with the Flames this season on December 31, they beat Calgary 4-1 at the Scotiabank Saddledome. The Kings opened up a three-goal lead with markers from Marian Gaborik, Milan Lucic and Andy Andreoff; Tanner Pearson added an empty-net goal. Jonathan Quick stopped 23 of the 24 shots he faced in the win.

ROAD WOES: The Flames come into tonight’s game with the NHL’s second-worst road record, posting a 9-16-3 mark when away from the Scotiabank Saddledome this season. Calgary has dropped their previous two road games, allowing a combined nine goals, and four of their last six. The Flames, up until their last visit to STAPLES Center on February 12, a 5-3 Kings win, had had recent success when visiting Los Angeles, winning four consecutive games in visits paid to the Kings.

Ready for Calgary. #LAKings - Flames tonight at 7:30 - @staplescenterla

A photo posted by LA Kings (@lakings) on

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

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