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Kings shuffle lines as Bruins make their lone visit to Los Angeles

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings



BRUINS (14-10-1) at KINGS (12-7-5)

7:30PM PT, TV: FOX SPORTS WEST; RADIO: AM 790 KABC

WHAT’S BRUIN?: This is the first of two meetings with Boston this season; the Kings will travel to Massachusetts to play the Bruins at TD Garden on January 31. Boston is playing its second game in as many nights, as well as the second game of their current four-game road trip through California and Arizona. The Bruins are coming off of a 3-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center Monday night, former King Simon Gagne buried Boston’s second goal. The Bruins are 4-2-1 in their previous seven. The Kings are putting a cap on their two-game home stand.

ALEC’S STATUS: Defenseman Alec Martinez, who has missed the last seven games due to an injury to his left pinky finger, continues to practice with the team, but a timetable for his return has yet to be determined. “As for a timeline, I still don’t have anything for you,” Martinez told Jon Rosen following Monday’s practice. “The past week I’ve felt better every day, pretty consistently. The first week and a half there, you just have to let it heal and do its thing. It’s gotten better, a little bit better everyday. It’s really all I can ask for.”

GABORIK A GO?: Marian Gaborik surprisingly sat out Saturday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks with what was described as an undisclosed upper-body injury. Gaborik missed eight games at the beginning of the season with a muscle strain. In 15 games played this season, Gaborik has registered eight points (4G, 4A). Gaborik took part in the team’s morning skate prior to tonight’s game, but was not included in line-rushes. Gaborik will likely be out again tonight against the Bruins.

NOTES: There are no seriously major lineup changes expected for tonight, according to what was displayed this morning at Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo. The biggest change will see Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter as linemates tonight on the Kings’ first unit. Jarret Stoll will move up to center the second line with Dustin Brown and Justin Williams. Jordan Nolan will likely return to the lineup for the second straight game after sitting five consecutive games as a healthy scratch. Nolan scored the Kings’ lone goal in the club’s 4-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks Saturday night, which was his first goal, and point of the season. Defenseman Jake Muzzin has six points (6A) in the last seven games, and 11 points (1G, 10A) in his last 11 games. Jonathan Quick is expected to start in goal. In nine career starts against the Bruins, Quick is 6-3-0.

HOSPITALITY: After tonight, the Kings will play seven of their next eight games away from STAPLES Center. The Kings are 10-3-1 on home ice this season, the best mark of any team in the NHL. With a 2-4-4 mark in opposing buildings this season, the Kings will look to pocket two points before hitting the road for the first half of December.

THE LAST TIME AROUND: In the Bruins’ only visit to STAPLES Center last season, the Kings came away with a 4-2 win. Alec Martinez potted the game-winning goal; Jeff Carter, Justin Williams, and Dustin Brown chipped in with goals of their own. Jonathan Quick made 20 saves in the Kings’ win. In Boston’s last four visits to STAPLES Center dating back to January 16, 2010, the Kings are 3-1-0.

BOSTON BROWN

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

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