SAY HEY, TAMPA BAY:
Tonight marks the second and final meeting with the Lightning this season, the Kings fell 2-1 in a shootout at Tampa Bay’s Amalie Arena on November 25. Tampa Bay is completing a three-game road trip through California tonight, where they’ve gone 2-0-0 thus far; they’re coming off of a 4-3 win over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night. The Kings are finishing off a four-game home stand, where they’ve gone 3-0-0 so far; they’re coming off of a 5-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday afternoon.
BACK-TO-BACK: The Kings are playing their fourth set of back-to-back games this season, and they’ve been delightfully successful in the second game of two-in-twos. The team went 2-0-0 on October 22 & 23, 1-1-0 on November 2 & 3, and 1-1-0 on November 22 & 23. The Kings are 1-2-0 in the first game of a back-to-back set, and a perfect 3-0-0 in the second. This will be the only time all season the Kings play games in consecutive days at STAPLES Center.
LINEUP: The Kings held an optional morning skate at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo in anticipation of tonight’s game versus the Lightning. Trevor Lewis did not take the ice, and Derek Forbort remained on for extra work, so those two are tonight’s presumed scratches. Jonathan Quick was the first goaltender the leave the ice, he will start in net.
PEARSON – KOPITAR – GABORIK
LUCIC – CARTER – TOFFOLI
ANDREOFF – SHORE – BROWN
CLIFFORD – WEAL – NOLAN
MCNABB – DOUGHTY
MUZZIN – MARTINEZ
EHRHOFF – MCBAIN
LIGHTNING IN LA: In Tampa Bay’s previous visit to STAPLES Center on February 16, 2015, the Kings beat the Lightning 3-2. Anze Kopitar, Jordan Nolan, and Jeff Carter scored while Jonathan made 21 saves. The Kings have won their past three meetings against the Lightning on home ice, dating back to November 4, 2010. The Kings are 4-10-0-2 against the Lightning in Los Angeles since Tampa Bay came into the league prior to the 1992-’93 season.
ANDREI TODAY: The Kings will see Tampa Bay’s backup, Andrei Vasilevskiy, in net tonight. Vasilevskiy will be making his sixth start of the season, he brings a 2-3-0 record into the game, posting a .917 SV% and a 2.55 GAA. In his 22 career NHL appearances, Vasilevskiy has seen the Kings twice, once in relief of Ben Bishop, once in a start. Vasilveskiy stopped 44 of the 48 shots directed his way by the Kings last season.
THE LAST TIME AROUND: In the Kings’ previous meeting with the Lightning on November 25, the game was decided in a shootout, the Kings falling by a final score of 2-1. Scoreless entering the third, Tyler Johnson netted the first goal of the evening, and Milan Lucic sent the contest past regulation scoring the game-tying goal with five minutes to play. Tampa Bay scored twice in the shootout, Anze Kopitar was the only King to find the net.
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Catch the ‘Kings Live’ pregame show at 6:30 PM PST on FOX SPORTS WEST, followed with Bob and Jim on the live play-by-play call from STAPLES Center for puck drop just after 7:00. As always, you can listen to Nick Nickson and Daryl Evans call the action over the radio airwaves on AM 790 KABC.