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Preview: Blue Jackets at Kings

Columbus seeking consistency; goalie Peter Budaj expected to start for Los Angeles

by Abbey Mastracco / NHL.com Correspondent

BLUE JACKETS (2-2-0) at KINGS (2-3-0)

10:30 p.m. ET; FS-W, FS-O, NHL.TV

Blue Jackets team scope

The Columbus Blue Jackets, who did not skate Tuesday, have won their past two games but are looking to establish more consistency during their West Coast trip. Coach John Tortorella wants to see how his young team can build on those wins. "I'm anxious to see if we get too high, or if we handle ourselves the right way, as far as our readiness for the next game," Tortorella told The Columbus Dispatch on Monday. "We've had meetings on it already. We've discussed it. And now we'll go play and see where we go."

 

Kings team scope

Although the Los Angeles Kings are without their top two goalies, Peter Budaj has earned praise in the absence of Jonathan Quick and Jeff Zatkoff, each sidelined with a groin injury. Budaj was first off the ice at the morning skate, and though coach Darryl Sutter wants to see him improve his game, he is confident with him in the interim. "He's played really well for us, given us a chance to win," Sutter said. "I think there are things that he can work on to help his save percentage, help his puck play, help his rebound control, help us with our possession, help us with exchanges with the defensemen. There's a lot to work on. This is very much a day-at-a-time deal here." Budaj, who played for Ontario in the American Hockey League last season, is 2-0-0 with a 2.46 goals-against average and .889 save percentage in three games (two starts). "He can still play at this level and there's no doubt about that," Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said. "He works really hard in practice, he works on his game at all times, and he really cares a lot. He gives us confidence in front of him."

 

Blue Jackets projected lineup

Matt Calvert -- Brandon Dubinsky -- Cam Atkinson

Brandon Saad -- Alexander Wennberg -- Nick Foligno

Scott Hartnell -- William Karlsson -- Josh Anderson

Boone Jenner -- Lukas Sedlak -- Sam Gagner

Zach Werenski -- Seth Jones  

Jack Johnson -- David Savard  

Dalton Prout -- Markus Nutivaara

Sergei Bobrovsky

Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: Sonny Milano, Scott Harrington

Injured: Ryan Murray (upper body), David Clarkson (back), Joonas Korpisalo (groin)

 

Kings projected lineup

Dwight King -- Anze Kopitar -- Tyler Toffoli

Tanner Pearson -- Jeff Carter -- Devin Setoguchi

Andy Andreoff -- Nic Dowd -- Dustin Brown

Kyle Clifford -- Nick Shore -- Trevor Lewis

Brayden McNabb -- Drew Doughty

Jake Muzzin -- Alec Martinez

Derek Forbort -- Tom Gilbert

Peter Budaj

Jack Campbell

Scratched: Teddy Purcell, Jordan Nolan, Matt Greene

Injured: Jonathan Quick (groin), Jeff Zatkoff (groin), Marian Gaborik (broken foot)

 

Status report

The Kings confirmed the signing of goalie Anders Lindback to a professional tryout. Lindback will report to Ontario. It's unclear when Lindback will join the Reign.

 

Who's hot

Pearson has four goals and has scored in the past three games. … Carter has one goal and three assists in his past three games. … Hartnell has one goal and two assists in his past three games. … Werenski has two goals and three assists during a four-game point streak.

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