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Kings look to snap out of funk against struggling Jets

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings



JETS (20-14-7) at KINGS (19-13-9)

7:00PM PT, TV: FOX SPORTS WEST; RADIO: AM 790 KABC

JET-SET: This is the second of three meetings with Winnipeg this season, and the second and final one in Los Angeles at STAPLES Center. The Kings will travel to Manitoba to complete the season series against the Jets at MTS Centre on March 1. Winnipeg is 1-4-0 in its previous five, and are playing the second game of their three-game tour through the Southwest. The Jets are coming off of a 4-1 loss to the Arizona Coyotes Thursday night. The Kings are playing the third game of their seven-game home stand, where they’ve gone 0-1-1 thus far.

AWAY FROM THE PEG: The Jets have excelled away from Winnipeg, posting an 11-5-4 record in opposing buildings this season. The Kings, on the other hand, have been one of the most successful teams in the NHL on home ice this season, flaunting a 14-5-3 mark. Winnipeg’s 4-1 loss to Arizona Thursday night was the first time the club lost a road game in regulation since November 15 against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena. Can the Kings continue to stall Winnipeg’s road success with a win tonight?

LINEUP NOTES: Per Jon Rosen, the Kings did not hold any line rushes this morning in El Segundo, so projections for tonight’s lineup will be based on how the roster skated during Friday’s practice:

GABORIK – KOPITAR – BROWN
PEARSON – CARTER – TOFFOLI
KING – STOLL – WILLIAMS
CLIFFORD – LEWIS – ANDREOFF
(RICHARDS – NOLAN)
------------------------------
MCNABB – DOUGHTY
SCHULTZ – MARTINEZ
MUZZIN – GREENE
(REGEHR – MCBAIN)

RICHARDS: Mike Richards skated as an extra forward with Jordan Nolan on Friday, hinting that he may sit his first game as a healthy scratch as a member of the Kings. No players, though, remained on the ice for extra work this morning, so it cannot be certain to assume Andy Andreoff will take Richards’ place as the fourth-line center tonight. In 41 games this season, Richards has registered 14 points (5G, 9A).

DEFENSIVE MUSINGS: According to Jon Rosen, Brayden McNabb could possibly return to the Kings’ lineup tonight after sitting out the previous three games as a healthy scratch. Jeff Schultz has been skating alongside Alec Martinez on the Kings’ second defensive pairing the past two days, so it is likely that McNabb will replace Jamie McBain’s slot in the Kings’ defensive scheme if he is to play tonight. Robyn Regehr continues to rehab from a hand injury and will be out of the lineup tonight; Regehr has missed the last eight games due to the injury.

THE LAST TIME AROUND: In the Kings’ previous meeting against the Jets on October 12 of this season, they beat Winnipeg 4-1 at STAPLES Center. The Kings built a 4-0 lead until Bryan Little got the Jets on the board late in the second period. Martin Jones made 29 saves on 30 shots faced in the win; Tyler Toffoli, Tanner Pearson, and Jeff Carter each had a goal and an assist in the game. This will be just Winnipeg’s third trip to STAPLES Center since the franchise relocated from Atlanta prior to the 2011-’12 campaign; the Kings are 2-0-0 in those Jets visits.

JET PRESENCE

WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Catch KINGS LIVE at 6:30PM PT on FOX SPORTS WEST, followed with Bob and Jim on the live play-by-play call from STAPLES Center for puck drop at 7:00PM PT.

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