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Kings look to finish trip with a victory in Winnipeg

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings


SET FOR JETS: Tonight marks the second of three meetings with the Jets this season and the Kings’ second and final visit to Winnipeg’s MTS Centre. The Jets are completing a four-game home stand where they’ve gone 1-1-1 thus far; they’re coming off of a 2-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night. The Kings are finishing off a three-game road trip where they’ve gone 0-2-0 thus far; they’re coming off of a 2-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday.

LINEUP: The Kings held a morning skate at the MTS Centre in anticipation of tonight’s game. Vincent Lecavalier skated but is expected to take the night off, deemed “a little banged up”. Tanner Pearson returned to the ice and will skate on the second line with Tyler Toffoli and Nic Dowd. Kris Versteeg remains in Los Angeles receiving treatment on his left foot. Jonathan Quick left the ice first and is expected to start in goal.

FORWARDS

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

DEFENSEMEN

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

GOALTENDERS

QUICK
(ENROTH)

THE LAST TIME AROUND: In the Kings’ first meeting with the Jets this season on October 27 at the MTS Centre, they beat Winnipeg 4-1. The Kings scored four unanswered goals, including two empty-netters, after the Jets took an early lead. Milan Lucic scored the game-winner with 4:41 left to play in regulation. Drew Doughty (2A), Tyler Toffoli (1G, 1A) and Jeff Carter (2A) each finished the game with two points. Jonathan Quick made 24 saves in the win.

YOUNGSTERS: Tanner Pearson will return to the Kings’ lineup tonight after missing Tuesday’s game for personal reasons. Pearson will skate opposite Tyler Toffoli on the second line centered by Nic Dowd, who will be playing his his second NHL game. “I’m familiar with Toff obviously, and you know, Dowder works hard, and what you see is what you get out of him, so he’s going to play the same way as he does down in [the AHL],” Pearson said. “I think from watching the game Tuesday night, he did a pretty good job in his opening debut.”

JETS DOWN: After making the playoffs last season, the Jets have had a disappointing, injury-riddled season that sees them sitting at last place in the Central division. Winnipeg has won only five home games during the 2016 calendar year, posting a 5-13-2 mark at the MTS Centre during that span. The Kings are 2-2-1 in five visits to Winnipeg since the Jets relocated prior to the 2011-’12 season.

PP STRUGGLES: The Kings are without a power play goal in their last seven games, going 0-18 during that span, and come into the night with the NHL’s ninth-best success rate at 20.5%. Winnipeg comes into the game with the league’s 25th-ranked PK unit, killing off 78.5% off the opposition’s power plays. “The bottom line is, we’re still not putting pucks in the net and we need to,” Doughty said. “Our power play’s been pretty good all season, we were in the top 10 for a long time, and even top 5 I want to say, and right now we haven’t been living up to that, so we need to get back to doing those things.”

WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Catch the ‘Kings Live’ pregame show at 4:30 PM PST on Fox Sports West, followed with Nick Nickson and Jim Fox on the live play-by-play call from the MTS Centre for puck drop just after 5:00. You can listen to Jon Rosen and Daryl Evans call the actions over the radio airwaves on AM 790 KABC.

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