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Kings look to continue solid play against Tampa Bay

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings



LIGHTNING (35-17-6) at KINGS (25-18-12)

7:30PM PT, TV: FOX SPORTS WEST; RADIO: AM 790 KABC

TONIGHT’S FORECAST: Tonight marks the second and final meeting with the Lightning this season; the Kings beat Tampa Bay 4-2 on February 7 at Amalie Arena. The Lightning are playing the second game of their five-game trip through California, Arizona, and Colorado; they’re coming off of a 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks on Sunday evening. The Kings are putting a cap on their three-game home stand, and are riding a four-game win streak; the Kings are coming off of a 3-1 win over the Washington Capitals on Saturday night.

LINEUP NOTES: The Kings’ lineup should look extremely similar, if not exactly the same, as it did Saturday night against Washington. Andy Andreoff and Derek Forbort remained on the ice for extra work this morning with Martin Jones, so expect those two to again be deemed healthy scratches. Jonathan Quick will make his 12th-straight start tonight. Per Jon Rosen, here’s how the lineup should pan out:

GABORIK – KOPITAR – LEWIS
KING – CARTER – TOFFOLI
BROWN – STOLL – WILLIAMS
CLIFFORD –SHORE – NOLAN
(ANDREOFF)
---------------------
REGEHR – DOUGHTY
MUZZIN – GREENE
MCNABB – MCBAIN
(FORBORT)

PLAYOFF PICTURE: The Kings’ status in the standings has improved over the course of their four-game win streak. Coming into tonight, the Kings are three points behind the Calgary Flames for the Western Conference’s second and final wild-card spot with one game in-hand. The Kings are also three points behind the Vancouver Canucks for third-place in the Pacific Division with a game in-hand, and four points behind the San Jose Sharks for second-place in the Pacific Division with three games in-hand.

GOALIE LOOK: Since Ben Bishop started for the Lightning last night in the club’s 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks, the Kings should expect to see rookie netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy in net for Tampa Bay tonight. Vasilievskiy took over for Bishop early in the second period on February 7 in the Kings’ 4-2 victory at Amalie Arena, stopping 19 of the 20 shots he faced in two periods of action. Vasilevskiy comes into the night with a 4-1-1 record, posting a .932 SV% and a 2.00 GAA.

WHO’S HOT: Dwight King comes into the night with goals in each of his last three games, totaling in with five points (3G, 2A) during that span. Tyler Toffoli has points in four-straight games, totaling in with six (4G, 2A). Jeff Carter has points in three straight, totaling in with six (1G, 5A).

THE LAST TIME AROUND: The last time Tampa Bay paid a visit to STAPLES Center, on November 19 of last season, the Kings won the game 5-2. The Kings got goals from five different players, and Ben Scrivens made 19 saves in the win. The Kings are 3-10-2 against Tampa Bay when playing in Los Angeles since the Lightning franchise was introduced prior to the 1992-’93 season; the Kings have won the previous two games against Tampa Bay on home ice.

LIGHTNING FAST

WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Catch KINGS LIVE pre game coverage at 7:00PM on FOX SPORTS WEST, followed with Bob and Jim on the live play-by-play call from STAPLES Center for puck drop at 7:30 PM PT.

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