Tonight marks the second and final meeting with the Blue Jackets this season, the Kings fell to Columbus 3-2 on November 5 at STAPLES Center. Columbus is stopping home for a quick one-game stint, they’re coming off of a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday after dropping their previous three contests. The Kings are playing the first of a six-game road trip, they’re coming off of a 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning Sunday night, where they capped off an undefeated home stand (4-0-0).
TREVOR NOT TRAVELING: Trevor Lewis, who has missed the previous two games with an undisclosed upper-body injury after leaving Friday’s practice early, has not made the initial trip to Columbus with the Kings. It has not been ruled out that Lewis will join the Kings later on the trip, no roster moves have been made yet to pad Lewis’ absence. In 24 games this season, Lewis has registered four points (2G, 2A).
LINEUP: The Kings held a morning skate Nationwide Arena in anticipation of tonight’s game. Derek Forbort and Jordan Weal remained on the ice for extra work, but with Lewis out of the lineup, Weal is expected to slot back in between Kyle Clifford and Jordan Nolan on the fourth line. Jonathan Quick left the ice first and will start in net.
PEARSON – KOPITAR – GABORIK
LUCIC – CARTER – TOFFOLI
ANDREOFF – SHORE – BROWN
CLIFFORD – WEAL – NOLAN
MCNABB – DOUGHTY
MUZZIN – MARTINEZ
EHRHOFF – MCBAIN
COLUMBUS KILLER: Jeff Carter, who is considered somewhat of a villain in Columbus, has points in five of the Kings’ previous five games against the Blue Jackets, dating back to January 21, 2014. During that span, Carter has totaled nine points (4G, 5A) against his former club.
ROAD WAYS: The Kings will play 10 of their next 11 games on the road; their current six-game road trip matches a season high (Feb 9-20). In 10 games played away from STAPLES Center this season, the Kings have posted a 6-3-1 mark. All six games on the current road trip will come against Eastern Conference opponents.
THE LAST TIME AROUND: In the Kings’ previous meeting with the Blue Jackets on November 5, they fell 3-2 in a game that drew a combined 52 penalty minutes and 52 hits delivered. Alec Martinez and Jeff Carter scored for the Kings, while Jonathan Quick made 22 saves on 25 shots faced. Columbus’ Brandon Dubinsky led the Blue Jackets in points, assisting on the Blue Jackets first goal, and scoring the club’s second.
WHAT ABOUT BOB?: The Kings will face Columbus’ number one guy in Sergei Bobrovsky tonight, who, since November 1, has posted a 9-4-1 record with a 1.71 GAA and a .943 SV%. Bobrovsky has made two career starts against the Kings, one last season and one in November, and has gone 1-1-0, stopping 53 of the 60 shots he’s faced. Bobrovsky is coming off of a 27-save performance Saturday against Philadelphia.
JACKETS TERRITORY: The Kings were victorious in their visit to Columbus’ Nationwide Arena on February 9 of last season, winning 4-3 with goals from Dwight King, Tyler Toffoli, Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown and a pair of assists from Brayden McNabb. Jonathan Quick made 23 saves in the Kings’ win. Since the Blue Jackets came into the NHL prior to the 2000’-01 campaign, the Kings are 12-10-3 at Nationwide Arena.
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Catch the ‘Kings Live’ pregame show at 3:30 PM PST on FOX SPORTS WEST, followed with Bob and Jim on the live play-by-play call from Nationwide Arena for puck drop just after 4:00. As always, you can listen to Nick Nickson and Daryl Evans call the action over the radio airwaves on AM 790 KABC.