BLACKHAWKS (30-15-2) at KINGS (20-15-12)
7:30PM PT, TV: NBC SPORTS NETWORK; RADIO: AM 790 KABC
BREAK’S OVER: Tonight marks the second of three meetings with the Chicago Blackhawks this season, and the second and final one at STAPLES Center. The Kings fell 4-1 to the Blackhawks at home on November 29, they will travel to Chicago’s United Center later this season on March 30 to finish the season series. The Blackhawks have won their previous two games; they’re coming off of a 3-2 shootout win against the Pittsburgh Penguins last Tuesday. The Kings are coming off of a 4-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks last Wednesday, this is their final game at home before venturing off on a five-game road trip.
LINEUP NOTES: Tyler Toffoli is returning to the lineup tonight after missing six games with mononucleosis. Per Jon Rosen, who attended the Kings’ morning skate at Toyota Sports Center, here’s how tonight’s lines should shake up:
GABORIK – KOPITAR – BROWN
KING – CARTER – TOFFOLI
CLIFFORD – STOLL – WILLIAMS
LEWIS – SHORE – NOLAN
MUZZIN – DOUGHTY
REGEHR – MARTINEZ
MCNABB - GREENE
HOME AND ROAD: Chicago is kicking off a six-game road trip tonight, and they come into the game with a very respectable 14-8-1 record away from the United Center this season. The Kings will be playing their final game at STAPLES Center tonight before heading out on a five-game road trip. 15 of the Kings’ 20 wins this season have come on home ice; they come into the night with a 15-6-6 mark at STAPLES Center.
RICHARDS: Mike Richards was placed on waivers Monday morning, went unclaimed, and will report to the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs today. Richards, who has never played in the American Hockey League, will likely make his debut with the club on Friday night at the Verizon Wireless Arena when they host the Portland Pirates. Nick Shore, who was recalled on Monday, will take Richards’ place, centering the fourth line.
THE LAST TIME AROUND: In the Blackhawks’ previous visit to STAPLES Center on November 29, the Kings fell 4-1. Jordan Nolan scored the lone goal for the Kings, and Jonathan Quick stopped 21 of the 24 shots he faced.
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Tonight’s game will be broadcast live on NBC SPORTS NETWORK, with coverage starting just prior to puck drop at 7:30PM PT from STAPLES Center. To listen live, tune in to AM 790 KABC for the play-by-play call from Nick Nickson and Daryl Evans.