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Kings, with help, look to rebound in Pittsburgh

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings

KINGS (6-1-2) at PENGUINS (5-2-1)


PENNSYLVANIA PART DEUX: Tonight marks the first of two meetings with the Pittsburgh Penguins this season; the Kings are coming off of a 3-2 OT loss Tuesday night to the Philadelphia Flyers. The Penguins are gunning in with two straight wins, the most recent, an 8-3 win against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday. The Penguins scored seven unanswered goals in the win.

ANZE-LESS: Anze Kopitar skated with the team this morning at the Consol Energy Center, but did not partake in line rushes, hinting that he will sit out his second game since suffering an undisclosed upper-body injury Sunday afternoon in the second period against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Kings exercised their emergency call-up option in order to have 20 players to dress tonight. Trevor Lewis and Marian Gaborik remain out of the lineup as well.

VAN DER GULIK: Due to the Kings’ cap issues, the only player available for the Kings to recall from the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs was forward David Van Der Gulik. The Kings signed Van Der Gulik on July 1 to a one-year deal. In five games with Manchester this season, Van Der Gulik has recorded two goals – tied for first on the club. He’s played in 42 NHL games with the Calgary Flames and Colorado Avalanche, registering 13 points (2G, 11A). Van Der Gulik will play left win on the Kings’ fourth line tonight alongside Andy Andreoff and Jordan Nolan.

JONES GETS THE CALL: Goaltender Martin Jones left the ice first this morning during the Kings’ morning skate, meaning he will make his second start of the season tonight. Jones’ other start this year came against the Winnipeg Jets on October 12, a 4-1 win. Jones stopped 29 of the 30 shots he faced, and has stopped 32 of a total of 33 shots faced this season, chiming in with a 0.75 GAA and a .970 SV%. Jones started the Kings’ lone game in Pittsburgh last season, making 35 saves on 37 shots in a 3-2 win on May 27. Jones also relieved Jonathan Quick when the Kings hosted the Penguins last season, making 14 saves on 15 shots faced in two periods of action.

KUNITZ – KING KILLER: Chris Kunitz, who has three goals and four assists for the Penguins through their first eight games, has had quite a bit of success against the Kings in recent years. Kunitz has scored a goal in each of his last four games against the Kings, and has totaled five goals in his last six against Los Angeles. Evgeni Malkin is coming in hot, riding an eight game point streak (4G, 7A).

THE LAST TIME AROUND: The Kings split their season series with the Penguins last season, losing their first date 4-1 on January 30 at STAPLES Center, and winning their second matchup 3-2 in Pittsburgh on March 27 at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Kings have lost six of their past eight meetings against the Penguins, dating back to November 1, 2006.


WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Catch KINGS LIVE at 3:30PM PT on FOX SPORTS WEST, followed with Bob and Jim on the live play-by-play call for puck drop from the Consol Energy Center at 4:00PM PT.

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