HURRICANES (6-9-3) at KINGS (10-5-4)
7:30PM PT, TV: FOX SPORTS WEST; RADIO: AM 790 KABC
HURRICANE WARNING: This is the second and final meeting with the Hurricanes this season. The Kings fell to Carolina 3-2 at PNC Arena in Raliegh, NC on November 2 in their first match up of the campaign. The Hurricanes are playing the second game of their current five-game road trip; their offense was alive and well Tuesday night in Dallas, as they beat the Stars 6-4. Carolina, like the Kings did Tuesday night against the Panthers, scored four second period goals.
FLICK THE SWITCH: After starting their season 0-6-2, the Hurricanes reeled off two consecutive victories in a 48-hour span, their first two of the season, the latter coming against the Kings in Raleigh on November 2. Since their miserable start, Carolina has rebounded with a respectful 6-3-1 record in their previous nine games. Can the Kings slow down Carolina and avoid being swept in their season series against the Hurricanes with a win tonight?
ALEC’S INCHING BACK: Alec Martinez skated before the Kings’ practice on Wednesday, and took to the ice following their morning skate prior to tonight’s game against the Hurricanes. This was the first time Martinez skated since suffering an injury to his left pinky finger on November 13 against the Dallas Stars. The timetable on Martinez’s recovery was tabbed to be about one week. Martinez has not been ruled out indefinitely tonight, but expect him to return to the Kings’ lineup Saturday night in Dallas.
LINEUP NOTES: Expect Jonathan Quick to start in net tonight, he exited the ice first during today’s morning skate. Tanner Pearson skated as an extra player with the line of Dwight King, Jeff Carter, and Tyler Toffoli during Wednesday’s practice. With no line rushed taken during this morning’s skate, it is unclear whether or not Pearson will be in tonight’s lineup. After racking up nine points (7G, 2A) in the first eight games of the season, the Kings’ rookie forward has only one point (1A) in the last 11 games.
HOME AND OUT: After the Kings wrap up their current four-game home stand tonight, they’ll play nine of their next 12 games on the road away from STAPLES Center. They come into tonight’s bout against the Hurricanes with the NHL’s best record on home ice, holding a 9-2-1 mark. Carolina is 2-6-2 on the road so far this season. Can the Kings improve upon their league-best record on home ice before venturing back out on the road?
DUSTIN FOR 200: Dustin Brown scored his 199th career NHL goal Tuesday night against the Florida Panthers. That number only accounts for regular season goals; Brown has 19 goals in 76 playoff games with the Kings. Brown, who has played his entire professional career with the Kings organization, is currently 9th all-time in regular season goals scored in a Los Angeles uniform, just behind Anze Kopitar, who ranks 9th with his 207. Brown’s next goal will be his 200th regular season NHL goal, his 219th overall including postseason markers.
THE LAST TIME AROUND: The last time the Hurricanes visited Los Angeles, on March 1 of last season, the Kings pulled off a 3-1 win, earning their fourth consecutive victory at the time. Mike Richards, Alec Martinez, and Justin Williams scored for the Kings, while Jonathan Quick made 24 saves on the 25 shots he faced. The Kings have won six of their past seven games against the Hurricanes at STAPLES Center, and are 6-4-0 all-time against Carolina in Los Angeles since the franchise relocated from Hartford, CT prior to the start of the 1998-’99 season. The Hurricanes’ last win at STAPLES Center came on December 8, 2005.
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Catch KINGS LIVE at 7:30PM PT on FOX SPORTS WEST, followed with Bob and Jim on the play-by-play call from STAPLES Center for puck drop at 7:30PM PT.