After playing 30 of their first 47 games at home, the Kings will have to live out of their suitcases for the bulk of the regular season, playing only four games at STAPLES Center between today and March 3rd, serving as the visiting team on eleven other occasions.
Scratches John Zeiler and Tom Preissing were the only two unfortunate enough to have to brave the near-zero temperatures to take part in the 8 a.m. morning skate while the rest of the team got to sleep in.
Montreal native, Denis Gauthier, had to scramble, wheel and deal, but he managed to secure enough tickets for the 20 or so friends and relatives who will be watching him perform in his hometown for the first time in two years.
Riding a three-game undefeated streak, the Kings have picked up seven points in their last four games with Dustin Brown, last week’s NHL First Star scoring five times and adding a pair of assists over that time. Linemates Kyle Calder and Jarret Stoll have also left their mark on the score sheet in recent games, with Stoll picking up four points in his last four games while Calder has five in his last four outings.
The CBS Line is projected to remain intact today while Alexander Frolov, Anze Kopitar and Patrick O’Sullivan will form a second trio. Brad Richardson, Michal Handzus and Wayne Simmonds comprise another while Raitis Ivanans, Derek Armstrong and defenseman Peter Harrold will complete the final forward line for the afternoon. Kings Lines
On defense, recently returned Jack Johnson will line up alongside Denis Gauthier while Drew Doughty is paired with Sean O’Donnell and Kyle Quincey teams with Matt Greene. Jonathan Quick will handle goaltending duties.
Today’s opponents are almost as cold as the weather, coach Guy Carbonneau’s Canadiens having dropped their last four games, two at home going into the All-Star break and two more in Florida, where warmer climates didn’t change their luck.
The Canadiens and Kings have met 131 times since Los Angeles entered the NHL in 1967-68 with Montreal holding an 87-27-20-0 overall edge .The Habs are 46-8-11 at home while they enjoy a 38-19-9-0 advantage in LA.
Kings forward Raitis Ivanins began his NHL career as a member of the Montreal Canadiens while Habs gritty attacker, Tom Kostopoulos spent two seasons as a King before signing with Montreal before the 2007-08 campaign.
Complied by Mike Wyman