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At the Rink: Blue Jackets at Kings

by Staff

A win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday at Staples Center will give the Los Angeles Kings their first 6-0-0 homestand in franchise history.

As well as the defending Stanley Cup champions have played to start the season, winning five straight after losing their first two games, the players believe there's room for improvement. The Kings have allowed 35 shots per game, ranking 29th in the NHL. Their offense has been top heavy with Tanner Pearson, Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli combining for all but four of their 16 goals, and L.A. has averaged 27.1 shots per game, 26th in the League.

"We're what, seven games in, and we should start hitting our strides," center Anze Kopitar told the Los Angeles Times on Saturday. "The last couple of games have been better. We've just got to build on it and stay consistent. That's what it is. You're trying to get to a point where you feel comfortable playing the game and feeling good about your game, and then just try and stay up there as long as you can."

The Blue Jackets are off a 4-1 loss Friday to the Anaheim Ducks and have lost 12 of the past 16 games to the Kings. Before the game Sunday, defenseman Ryan Murray was activated from injured reserve after missing the start of the season with a knee injury. Right wing Alexander Wennberg was sent to Springfield of the American Hockey League. Goalie Curtis McElhinney (upper body) was also activated off IR with Anton Forsberg sent to Springfield.

Here are the projected lineups:


Scott HartnellRyan JohansenNick Foligno

Matt CalvertMarko DanoCorey Tropp

Mark Letestu - Artem AnisimovJack Skille

Adam CracknellMichael ChaputJared Boll

Jack JohnsonDavid Savard

Ryan MurrayJames Wisniewski

Fedor TyutinDalton Prout

Sergei Bobrovsky

Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: Tim Erixon, Cody Goloubef

Injured: Brandon Dubinsky (abdominal), Boone Jenner (hand), Nathan Horton (back), Cam Atkinson (eye)


Dwight King - Anze Kopitar - Dustin Brown

Tanner Pearson - Jeff Carter - Tyler Toffoli

Andy Andreoff - Jarret Stoll - Justin Williams

Kyle Clifford - Mike Richards - Jordan Nolan

Jake Muzzin - Drew Doughty

Robyn Regehr - Alec Martinez

Brayden McNabb - Matt Greene

Jonathan Quick

Martin Jones

Scratched: None

Suspended: Slava Voynov

Injured: Trevor Lewis (upper body), Marian Gaborik (upper body)

Status report: Atkinson will not play two days after he was accidently cut below the eye by Ducks forward Ryan Kesler's skate. Dano is back in the Blue Jackets lineup after missing four games with a lower-body injury.

Who's hot: Quick is 4-0-1 with a 0.97 goals-against average since losing the season opener to the San Jose Sharks. He's 5-1-0 with a 1.33 GAA in his past six games against Columbus … Johansen has at least a point in each of his games and leads the Blue Jackets with 10 goals.

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