Tonight marks the second and final meeting with the Islanders this season and the Kings’ first-ever visit to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. New York is playing a one-game stint on home ice; they’re coming off of a 3-2 SO win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night. The Kings are playing the second of a seven-game road trip; they’re coming off of a 9-2 win over the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night.
LINEUP: The Kings held meetings and off-ice workouts at the team hotel Thursday morning in anticipation of tonight’s game; the team practiced at Boston University’s Agganis Arena on Wednesday prior to traveling to New York. The lines shown below are not confirmed.
LUCIC – KOPITAR – BROWN
KING – CARTER – TOFFOLI
GABORIK – LECAVALIER – LEWIS
CLIFFORD – ANDREOFF – NOLAN
(PEARSON – SHORE)
MUZZIN - DOUGHTY
MARTINEZ - SCHENN
MCNABB – MCBAIN
(BUDAJ - QUICK)
JQ STATUS: Jonathan Quick is still with the team after getting a bit shaken up when Boston’s Jimmy Hayes collided with him in his crease with 15 seconds left in Tuesday night’s game against the Bruins. Quick did not practice with the team Wednesday, and is still deemed ‘day-to-day’. “Just take it day-to-day,” Darryl Sutter said Thursday morning. “I know he wants to play, but I think I’ll have to handle that one.”
BACKUP IN BROOKLYN?: Regardless of the severity of Quick’s shake-up, Jhonas Enroth will likely get the nod to start one of the two games in the Kings’ back-to-back set Thursday or Friday. Enroth made 31 saves in the Kings’ 2-1 win over the Islanders on November 12. “Obviously I’m hoping to get one of the games,” Enroth said Tuesday. “But you never know, so try to get ready and whatever happens happens.” Anze Kopitar, when asked about the goalie situation, said “We feel very comfortable and confident in [Enroth] to step up if he has to.”
HEY, KID: Defenseman Christian Ehrhoff cleared waivers on Thursday and is expected to be assigned to the Ontario Reign. Kevin Gravel is reportedly being called up to the Kings and will meet the team at the Barclays Center prior to tonight’s game. Gravel, 23 years old, was drafted by the Kings in the fifth-round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, and in 42 games with the Reign this season, has posted 16 points (5G, 11A) and a plus-five rating.
THE LAST TIME AROUND: In the Kings’ previous meeting with the Islanders on November 12 at STAPLES Center, they beat New York 2-1. Brock Nelson gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead midway through the first period, Drew Doughty whistled home the game-tying goal late in the opening frame, and Milan Lucic buried the game’s eventual winning goal three minutes into the second. Jhonas Enroth stopped 31 of the 32 shots he faced in the Kings’ win.
GETTING THE FEEL: The Kings will make their Barclays Center debut tonight. In 51 regular season visits to the Islanders’ former home of 42 years, the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, the Kings posted a 20-25-5-1 record. “You check the boards, like how much they bounce,” Dustin Brown said of getting the feel for a new rink. “You rim a couple pucks to see if there are any boards that stick out, Zamboni doors and you kind of get a feel for that in warm-ups.”
LOCATION, LOCATION: The Kings’ 17-7-2 mark on the road is second-best in the Western Conference, while New York has had no trouble getting acclimated to their new digs in Brooklyn, posting the Eastern Conference’s fourth-best home record with a 17-8-3 mark. The Islanders have scored 13 goals in their last two home games, the Kings 15 in their last two on the road. The Kings have won their last two road games against the Islanders, both by a 3-2 score, and have only lost once in regulation in their last 10 visits dating back to October 27, 1998.
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Catch the ‘Kings Live’ pregame show at 3:30 PM PST on Fox Sports West, followed with Nick Nickson and Jim Fox on the live play-by-play call from the Barclays Center at 4:00. You can listen to Jon Rosen and Daryl Evans call the action over the radio airwaves on AM 790 KABC.