EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The spotlight will be bright for center Nick Shore when he makes his NHL debut for the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday at Staples Center. A packed house is expected for the jersey retirement ceremony of Rob Blake, and it's a rivalry game against the Anaheim Ducks.
"It's going to be really exciting," Shore said. "It's a new experience for me. Obviously there's going to be some nerves going for me before the game, but I'm really excited to jump into one."
Shore, 22, was recalled after a leg injury to left wing Tanner Pearson and illness to right wing Tyler Toffoli. Shore is a point-per-game player for the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League and was tied for the AHL lead with 20 goals at the time of his recall. His older brother, Drew, was recently traded from the Florida Panthers to the Calgary Flames, who play at the Kings on Monday, so it could be a brother vs. brother matchup.
Shore isn't thinking that far ahead. His two-way game is well-suited for the Kings, and he said it helped having been through two training camps. The Kings did not do line rushes but Shore on Friday skated with left wing Dwight King and Jeff Carter on right wing.
Kings coach Darryl Sutter has praised Shore and expects him to adapt well.
"I think he's really settled, [he] doesn't get too flustered," Sutter said. "We need him to perform. We're in a situation … even though we shut [the] Toronto [Maple Leafs] out two games ago, if you look at it the last little bit we've given up too many goals against. Even though we're scoring three goals a game, it's very isolated in terms of where we're getting it from. And that's right through our lineup. We have to get some more all-around performances, which includes more scoring opportunities."
The ceremony honoring Blake will begin at 9:45 p.m. ET and the game is supposed to start after 11 p.m., a Kings official said. Sutter, who is preoccupied by routine and preparation, said that even though it's different, "It's good that guys still get to watch it."
The Kings are not expected to return defenseman Robyn Regehr, who skated with the extras.
Although the Kings have allowed 20 goals in regulation/overtime the first five games of the homestand, the numbers tend to get thrown out against Anaheim.
The Ducks are 14 points ahead of the Kings after wins against Toronto and the New Jersey Devils by a combined score of 9-1, but they know the significance of the divisional game.
"I think it's huge, and I know that word's overused a lot," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said Friday. "But they've been sitting at home for three days, and I don't think they've been happy with the way it's been going. And when they play us, we bring out the best in them. It's going to be a really good, tough test for us, and on a special night because the crowd will be into it because of the Rob Blake thing. All in all, we'll know where we are after Saturday's game."
Anaheim is expected to scratch left wing Rene Bourque for the more rugged right wing Tim Jackman, according to the Orange County Register. Left wing Matt Beleskey returned to the lineup Friday and had an assist.
Goalie Frederik Andersen is 3-0-1 with a 2.39 goals-against average against the Kings.
Here are the projected lineups:
Patrick Maroon – Ryan Getzlaf – Corey Perry
Matt Beleskey – Ryan Kesler – Kyle Palmieri
Andrew Cogliano – Nate Thompson – Jakob Silfverberg
Devante Smith-Pelly – Rickard Rakell – Tim Jackman
Cam Fowler – Ben Lovejoy
Hampus Lindholm – Francois Beauchemin
Clayton Stoner – Sami Vatanen
Scratched: Rene Bourque, Mark Fistric, Colby Robak
Injured: Eric Brewer
Marian Gaborik – Anze Kopitar – Justin Williams
Dwight King – Nick Shore – Jeff Carter
Dustin Brown – Jarret Stoll – Trevor Lewis
Kyle Clifford – Mike Richards – Jordan Nolan
Jake Muzzin – Drew Doughty
Jeff Schultz – Alec Martinez
Brayden McNabb – Matt Greene
Scratched: Andy Andreoff, Jamie McBain
Suspended: Slava Voynov
Injured: Tyler Toffoli (mononucleosis), Tanner Pearson (leg), Robyn Regehr (upper body), Martin Jones (undisclosed)
Status report: Muzzin was back with usual partner Doughty on Friday … Jones did not skate because of what is believed to be an undisclosed injury and the Kings recalled Berube from Manchester, according to the Los Angeles Times. … Toffoli had tests done and said, "It's getting better. It's going in the right direction."
Who's hot: Perry has four goals in two games and leads the NHL in goals per game (0.63). Silfverberg is coming off his third career multigoal game. Gaborik is on a three-game goal-scoring streak and has 16 points in his past 13 games. Doughty has points in six of the past seven games.