Today marks the second and final meeting with the Senators this season, and Ottawa’s lone visit to STAPLES Center. The Senators are playing the third of a five-game road trip where they’ve gone 0-2-0 thus far, they’re coming off of a 4-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night. The Kings are playing the final game of a four-game home stand where they’ve gone 2-1-0 thus far, they’re coming off of a 4-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Monday night.
LINEUP: The Kings held a full practice on Friday at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo in anticipation of today’s game. Kyle Clifford, who has been out of the lineup since December 6 with an upper-body injury, took part in solo drills before the rest of the team hit the ice. With Michael Mersch’s assignment to Ontario, Andy Andreoff skated with Nick Shore and Dustin Brown on the fourth line, with Jordan Nolan as an extra. It is still unclear who will start in net this afternoon.
LUCIC – KOPITAR – TOFFOLI
KING – CARTER – PEARSON
LEWIS – LECAVALIER – GABORIK
ANDREOFF – SHORE – BROWN
MCNABB – DOUGHTY
MUZZIN – MARTINEZ
EHRHOFF – SCHENN
BACK-TO-BACK: The Kings are playing their sixth set of back-to-back games this season, they’ll pay a visit to Anaheim’s Honda Center Sunday evening. The team went 2-0-0 on October 22 & 23, 1-1-0 on November 2 & 3, 1-1-0 on November 22 & 23, 2-0-0 on December 5 & 6, and 2-0-0 on December 28 & 29. The Kings are 3-2-0 in the first game of a back-to-back set, and a perfect 5-0-0 in the second.
THE LAST TIME AROUND: In the Kings’ previous meeting with the Senators on December 14 at Ottawa’s Canadian Tire Centre, they lost 5-3. Jamie McBain opened the scoring for the Kings in the first period, but the Senators responded with four straight goals in the second, three of which came in a 3:34 minute span. Tyler Toffoli and Jake Muzzin were the other two Kings to find the net, while Jonathan Quick made 16 saves on 21 shots faced.
BUMPY ROAD: The Senators have dropped nine of their last 10 games on the road, and have not won a game in regulation away from Ottawa since their 4-2 victory over the Florida Panthers on December 8 at the BB&T Center. The Senators bring a 9-12-2 road record into today’s game, and have lost their last two away games by a combined score of 11-2.
SENS IN LA: Mike Hoffman, who registered three points (2G, 1A) in the Senators’ win over the Kings on December 14, scored the only goal of the game in Ottawa’s previous visit to STAPLES Center on February 26 of last season, where they beat the Kings 1-0, Andrew Hammond making 35 saves. Prior to that loss, the Kings had strung together six consecutive wins against the Senators on home ice. Since STAPLES Center opened prior to the 1999-’00 campaign, the Kings are 6-2-0-1 when Ottawa visits.
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Catch the ‘Kings Live’ pregame show at 12:30 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 1:00. As always, you can listen to Nick Nickson and Daryl Evans call the action over the radio airwaves on AM 790 KABC.