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Hurricanes expect to have Jordan Staal against Kings

by Michael LoRe /

KINGS (12-7-0) at HURRICANES (6-10-3)


Season series: The Los Angeles Kings defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0 on Oct. 23 at Staples Center. Goalie Jonathan Quick made 40 saves, center Tyler Toffoli had two goals and left wing Milan Lucic had two assists for the Kings. Cam Ward had 25 saves for the Hurricanes.

Kings team scope: All players practiced for Los Angeles on Saturday. Quick left the ice first and is expected to start against the Hurricanes after Jhonas Enroth played in a 3-2 loss at the Detroit Red Wings on Friday. Center Jordan Weal skated as an extra on Anze Kopitar's line, and defensemen Derek Forbort and Jamie McBain took the first rotation together during drills that included defensive retrievals. Despite winning four of their past five games against Carolina, Kings coach Darryl Sutter isn't underestimating the Hurricanes. "We've played Carolina once already. It was a close game," Sutter told LA Kings Insider. "We scored a power-play goal in the first period -- a four-on-four goal -- a faceoff goal in the third and then scored late. It was a game where we got outshot, but we felt we played a good home game, so we expect them to play a good home game. They play a game very similar to the team we played [Friday] night. We're pretty familiar with it."

Hurricanes team scope: Defenseman Ryan Murphy (concussion) and center Jordan Staal (maintenance) did not practice Saturday. Staal blocked a shot in the Hurricanes' 2-1 shootout loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday but is expected to play. Murphy, who skated on his own according to The News & Observer, has been sidelined since Nov. 15 after sustaining a concussion in Carolina's 3-2 overtime loss to the Philadelphia Flyers the night before. Coach Bill Peters confirmed Ward will start and plans to use the same lineup against the Kings. "We've got to find a way to get on the inside," Peters told the News & Observer. "[The Kings] have a very good, physical back end, good goaltending. Generating Grade-A opportunities will be at a premium and then the ability to finish them off."

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