Skip to main content

Kings again tasked with stopping Stamkos

by Curtis Zupke

LIGHTNING (35-17-6) at KINGS (25-18-12)


EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- For the fourth time in 13 days, the Los Angeles Kings will have to contain one of the NHL's most dangerous scorers when they play Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday at Staples Center.

The Kings held Stamkos, the League's fourth-leading scorer, to no points and two shots in a 4-2 win on Feb. 7. They also played NHL-leader Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals twice this month.

"I always enjoy playing other teams' top guys, especially when a guy like Ovechkin comes into town," said defenseman Drew Doughty, who was the No. 2 pick in the 2008 NHL Draft after Stamkos went No. 1 to the Lightning. "I thought we had pretty good battles both games we played against each other. Now that [Stamkos] has come in -- he's a guy I've known a long time -- obviously he went ahead of me in the draft. Playing against him is always fun. It's always a challenge. He's a fantastic hockey player and I always look forward to these things."

Staples Center and United Center are the two NHL arenas in which Stamkos has not scored, although the sample size is two games in Los Angeles.

The Kings are trying to win five straight, their longest streak since six in a row from Oct. 12-26. A big part of their offensive success is the new version of "That '70s Line," with left wing Dwight King replacing injured left wing Tanner Pearson next to center Jeff Carter and right wing Tyler Toffoli.

The line has combined for nine goals and nine assists the past four games. Toffoli was named the NHL's Second Star of the week on Monday. King is on a career-high three-game scoring streak and is five goals shy of his career high of 15.

"They've got great chemistry within themselves," King said of Carter and Toffoli. "For a large amount of time, they've been successful together. It's been pretty easy for me to read off them. They're both predictable players, and that makes it easy for myself. I've just got to go out there and work for them and create space and good things tend to happen."

King said it's been fun being a part of the new line, which first bloomed during last season's Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"We've been pretty good even when we haven't been on the scoreboard, so that gets you into games a little more so than trying to fight for it," he said. "It's nice that they've been there."

Stamkos reached the 30-goal plateau for the fourth time Sunday in a 5-2 win against the San Jose Sharks. Tampa Bay tied the Montreal Canadiens at 76 points for tops in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference.

The Lightning held an optional practice and their lineup is unclear.

Here are the projected lineups:


Alex KillornSteven StamkosRyan Callahan

Ondrej PalatTyler JohnsonNikita Kucherov

Cedric PaquetteValtteri FilppulaBrett Connolly

Jonathan DrouinBrian BoyleJ.T. Brown

Victor HedmanAndrej Sustr

Anton StralmanNikita Nesterov

Luke WitkowskiJason Garrison

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Ben Bishop

Scratched: Brenden Morrow, Mark Barberio

Injured: Matt Carle (upper body), Radko Gudas (knee)


Marian GaborikAnze KopitarTrevor Lewis

Dwight KingJeff CarterTyler Toffoli

Dustin BrownJarret StollJustin Williams

Kyle CliffordNick ShoreJordan Nolan

Robyn RegehrDrew Doughty

Jake MuzzinMatt Greene

Brayden McNabbJamie McBain

Jonathan Quick

Martin Jones

Scratched: Andy Andreoff, Derek Forbort

Suspended: Slava Voynov

Injured: Alec Martinez (concussion symptoms), Tanner Pearson (leg)

Status report: Quick was off the ice first and will make his 13th straight start. … Martinez has not been skating. … Vasilevskiy is expected to start after Bishop played Sunday. … It is unclear if Morrow or Barberio will go back into the lineup.

Who's hot: Filppula has a goal and six assists in four games. … Toffoli has a four-game point streak and nine points in eight games since he returned from mononucleosis. Gaborik has five points in five games. Quick has a 2.25 goals-against average and .955 save percentage during his four-game winning streak.

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.