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Preview: Flames at Kings

Calgary splits up Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan; Peter Budaj starts again in goal for Los Angeles

by Abbey Mastracco / NHL.com Correspondent

FLAMES (5-6-1) at KINGS (5-6-0)

10 p.m. ET; CBC, SN1, FS-W, NHL.TV

 

Flames team scope

Calgary Flames coach Glen Gulutzan decided to mix up his lines and defense pairs to add size against one of the NHL's biggest teams and to generate more offense. Forward Johnny Gaudreau and center Sean Monahan were separated, with Gaudreau on the top line during the morning skate and Monahan on the third line. "Most of the dynamic duos in the League have been broken up at some point in time," Gulutzan said. "If you look at the results, we just weren't getting them. So that's the motivation. I don't think they were clicking the way they usually click and sometimes the separation is good for both parties." Defenseman Brett Kulak will dress, having earned more playing time after positive results in a 3-2 win against the San Jose Sharks on Thursday. Defenseman Nicklas Grossmann also will play in order to add size. "[We're] putting him into the game against a big strong team," Gulutzan said. "We wanted a little weight in the back end to get some bigger bodies against the wall and get a little presence back there." Gulutzan said forward Kris Versteeg will be out 2-3 weeks after sustaining a groin injury against the Sharks.

 

Kings team scope

Goaltender Peter Budaj is expected to make his ninth consecutive start for the Los Angeles Kings, with rookie Jack Campbell again serving as his backup. Coach Darryl Sutter said Jeff Zatkoff, who began the season as the backup behind starter Jonathan Quick, likely will be recovered from the groin injury that has sidelined him since Oct. 18 in time to be available for a five-game road trip that begins Tuesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Budaj, who started the season in the American Hockey League, was recalled after Quick went down with a groin injury on opening night and became the starter after Zatkoff was injured. He is 5-3-0 with a 2.31 goals-against average and .902 save percentage in nine games (eight starts) with the Kings. That includes a stretch of seven starts in 12 nights. "I like to go on the ice and I like to do my things," Budaj said. "I don't necessarily like to not go on the ice personally, because even if I put the gear on for five or 10 minutes, it's better for me then if I don't." The Kings will be without defenseman Tom Gilbert for the second straight game; the NHL suspended him for three games for boarding forward Nick Ritchie of the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday.

 
Flames projected lineup

Johnny Gaudreau -- Sam Bennett -- Troy Brouwer

Matthew Tkachuk -- Mikael Backlund -- Michael Frolik

Micheal Ferland -- Sean Monahan -- Alex Chiasson

Lance Bouma -- Matt Stajan -- Freddie Hamilton

Mark Giordano -- TJ Brodie

Brett Kulak -- Deryk Engelland

Nicklas Grossmann -- Dougie Hamilton

Brian Elliott

Chad Johnson

Scratched: Jyrki Jokipakka, Dennis Wideman

Injured: Kris Versteeg (groin), Ladislav Smid (neck)

 

Kings projected lineup

Tanner Pearson -- Anze Kopitar -- Teddy Purcell

Dwight King -- Jeff Carter -- Tyler Toffoli

Dustin Brown -- Nic Dowd -- Devin Setoguchi

Kyle Clifford -- Nick Shore -- Trevor Lewis

Derek Forbort -- Drew Doughty

Jake Muzzin -- Alec Martinez

Kevin Gravel -- Matt Greene

Peter Budaj

Jack Campbell

Scratched: Jordan Nolan

Injured: Marian Gaborik (broken foot), Brayden McNabb (collarbone), Andy Andreoff (upper body), Jeff Zatkoff (groin), Jonathan Quick (groin)

Suspended : Tom Gilbert

 

Status report

The Kings used the same skaters from the game Thursday. … The Flames have not decided whether to call up another forward to replace Versteeg. Gulutzan said they will use the same lines from the morning skate and continue to monitor the situation.

 

Who's hot

Frolik has five points during a four-game point streak. Tkachuk has five points in five games, and Backlund has three points in four games. … Martinez had two points in the Kings' 3-2 overtime victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday. Pearson's four goals in nine games leads Los Angeles.

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