Sunday afternoon marks the first of two meetings with the Devils this season and the Kings’ lone trip to New Jersey’s Prudential Center; the Devils will pay a visit to STAPLES Center on March 12. New Jersey is playing the first of a three-game home stand; they’re coming off of a 2-1 OT win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday afternoon. The Kings are playing the fourth of a seven-game road trip; they’re coming off of a 5-4 OT win over the New York Rangers on Friday night.
GABORIK IR: Marian Gaborik did not return to Friday’s game after colliding awkwardly with New York’s Dominic Moore, and was officially placed on injured reserve Saturday. Gaborik had appeared in 99 consecutive games, and in 54 games played this season, posted 22 points (12G, 10A). Gaborik’s move to IR opened up a slot for goaltender Peter Budaj to remain with the team.
LINEUP: The Kings held a full practice Saturday afternoon at New Jersey’s Prudential Center. Jonathan Quick skated with the team for the first time since Jimmy Hayes collided into him late in the Kings’ 9-2 win in Boston Tuesday, Jhonas Enroth and Peter Budaj were on the ice as well. Andy Andreoff and Nick Shore shared the centerman role on the fourth line, it isn’t certain which one of them will crack the roster Sunday. Line projections are shown below:
LUCIC – KOPITAR – BROWN
PEARSON – CARTER – TOFFOLI
KING – LECAVALIER – LEWIS
CLIFFORD – ANDREOFF / SHORE - NOLAN
MCNABB – DOUGHTY
MUZZIN – MARTINEZ
GRAVEL – SCHENN
(QUICK – ENROTH)
QUICK RETURN?: Jonathan Quick participated in his first skate with the team since being deemed ‘day-to-day’ after Tuesday’s game. Quick said he felt “good,” took some shots at the beginning of practice, and stayed in one of the nets throughout the entirety of the team’s full-ice drills. There is no indication what the Kings’ number one starter’s status is for Sunday.
THE LAST TIME AROUND: The Kings split their two meetings with the Devils last season, falling 5-3 to New Jersey on January 14, 2015 at STAPLES Center and winning 3-1 on March 23, 2015 at the Prudential Center. Jonathan Quick started both games but was pulled after allowing two goals on seven shots on January 14; Quick stopped 19 of 20 shots faced in New Jersey on March 23. Anze Kopitar led all current Kings players in points scored against the Devils last season, putting up three (1G, 2A) in the Kings’ win over New Jersey.
SUCCESS IN NJ: The Kings have earned points in each of their previous five visits to New Jersey (4-0-1), and are 4-1-1 overall in regular season visits paid to the Prudential Center since the building opened prior to the 2007-’08 season, 6-2-1 including playoff visits. Can the Kings continue their success at the Devils’ home arena with a win today?
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Catch the ‘Kings Live’ pregame show at 9:00 AM PST followed with Nick Nickson and Jim Fox on the live play-by-play call from the Prudential Center for puck drop at 9:30. As always, you can listen to Jon Rosen and Daryl Evans call the action over the radio airwaves on AM 790 KABC.