KINGS (34-23-14) at DEVILS (31-30-11)
4:00PM PT, TV: FOX SPORTS WEST; RADIO: AM 790 KABC
DANCING WITH THE DEVIL: Tonight marks the second and final meeting with the Devils this season; the Kings fell to New Jersey 5-3 on January 14 at STAPLES Center. The Devils are finishing a two-game home stand; they’re coming off of a 3-0 loss to the New York Islanders on Saturday night. The Kings are starting a five-game road trip tonight; they’re coming off of a 4-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday afternoon.
LINEUP NOTES: The Kings held an optional morning skate at the Prudential Center. It is unclear whether or not Jonathan Quick will start tonight, and/or if Alec Martinez returns to the lineup. Per Jon Rosen, here’s how the Kings skated during Sunday’s practice.
GABORIK – KOPITAR – BROWN – LEWIS
KING – CARTER – TOFFOLI
CLIFFORD – RICHARDS – WILLIAMS
ANDREOFF – SHORE – NOLAN
REGEHR – DOUGHTY
MUZZIN – GREENE
MCNABB – SEKERA
MARTINEZ - MCBAIN
RICHARDS’ RETURN: Mike Richards was recalled from the Manchester Monarchs on Sunday morning. Richards, who was assigned to Manchester on January 26, registered 14 points (3G, 11A) in 16 games with the Monarchs. Richards joined the team for practice on Sunday in New Jersey, and skated alongside Kyle Clifford and Justin Williams on the third line. Can Richards’ return provide a boost for the Kings tonight in New Jersey?
MARTINEZ: Defenseman Alec Martinez was officially activated from the Kings’ injured reserve list on Friday. Martinez, who’s missed 19 games due to his head injury, has been practicing with the team, but did not play on Saturday night. It is unclear whether or not Martinez will return to the lineup tonight; it will likely be a game-time decision for head coach Darryl Sutter.
PLAYOFF PICTURE: The Kings are in dire need of points tonight as they find themselves on the outside of the Western Conference playoff picture. The Kings, with 82 points, are two points behind the Calgary Flames for the Pacific Division’s final berth, and four points behind the Winnipeg Jets for the final wild-card spot. Can the Kings keep pace and pick up two more points tonight?
THE LAST TIME AROUND: In the Kings’ previous visit to New Jersey’s Prudential Center on November 15 of last season, they beat the Devils 2-0. Dwight King scored the game-winning goal with just under seven minutes to play in regulation; Anze Kopitar added an empty netter. Ben Scrivens made 26 saves for the Kings in his shutout victory.
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Catch the KINGS LIVE pregame show at 3:30PM PT on FOX SPORTS WEST, followed with Bob and Jim on the live play-by-play call from the Prudential Center for puck drop just after 4:00.