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Kings aim to end losing streak at two

Pacific Division leaders without forwards Versteeg, Lecavalier; Jets' Myers done for season

by Patrick Williams / Correspondent

KINGS (44-24-5) at JETS (30-37-6)

TV: 8 p.m. ET, FS-W, TSN3, NHL.TV

WINNIPEG -- The Los Angeles Kings will try to end a two-game losing streak when they visit the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre on Thursday.

Kings forward Tanner Pearson participated in the morning skate after missing a 2-1 loss at the Minnesota Wild because of personal reasons and will play. However, injured forward Kris Versteeg (lower body) will miss his third consecutive game when the Kings finish a three-game Central Division road trip.

Though forward Vincent Lecavalier skated Thursday, he is also not expected to play because he's "a little banged up," according to LAKings Insider.

Goalie Jonathan Quick will start for the Kings, who have clinched a Stanley Cup Playoffs berth and lead the Pacific Division. But center Anze Kopitar wants to see them fine-tune themselves in the final eight games of the regular season.

"Now we've put ourselves in a position where we've got to sharpen up [our] game," Kopitar said. "We know that there are still some games left here, and we want to make sure that come [playoff time, we] want to be on [our] game."

Said Kings coach Darryl Sutter: "Just trying to get through the rest of the schedule. We've played a lot of games lately and used a lot of guys. Just continue to bang away."

Jets defenseman Tyler Myers had knee surgery Thursday and is out for the rest of the season, coach Paul Maurice said. At a subsequent date, Myers will have hip surgery. 

"The hip he has been dealing with maybe over years," Maurice said. "You can play with it until you can't, and it had just gotten to the point that the doctors felt this is the time to get it done."

Myers is the second Jets defenseman this week to be shut down for the season, joining Toby Enstrom (knee).

However, Winnipeg will have defenseman Mark Stuart back in the lineup from a broken hand sustained Feb. 11 against the Edmonton Oilers.

"I feel good," Stuart said. "Ready to go."

Maurice also said he is hopeful injured forwards Nikolaj Ehlers (eye) and Joel Armia (lower body) will be back. Each player participated in the morning skate. If they play, forwards Chase De Leo and Scott Kosmachuk would likely come out of the lineup.

"It has been a long three weeks," said Ehlers, who was hit by a puck against the New York Islanders on March 3. "I want to be out there again."

If Ehlers plays, he would wear a full face shield.

Goaltender Ondrej Pavelec will start for the Jets.

Here are the projected lineups:


Milan Lucic - Anze Kopitar - Jeff Carter

Tanner Pearson - Nic Dowd - Tyler Toffoli

Dwight King - Nick Shore - Dustin Brown

Kyle Clifford - Trevor Lewis - Andy Andreoff

Brayden McNabb - Drew Doughty

Jake Muzzin - Alec Martinez  

Rob Scuderi - Luke Schenn

Jonathan Quick

Jhonas Enroth

Injured: Matt Greene (shoulder), Marian Gaborik (knee), Jordan Nolan (back), Kris Versteeg (lower body), Vincent Lecavalier (undisclosed)

Scratched: Jamie McBain


Nikolaj Ehlers - Mark Scheifele - Blake Wheeler

Joel Armia - Alexander Burmistrov - Drew Stafford

Chris Thorburn - Adam Lowry - Matt Halischuk

Nic Petan - Andrew Copp - Marko Dano  

Ben Chiarot - Dustin Byfuglien

Mark Stuart - Jacob Trouba

Julian Melchiori - Paul Postma

Ondrej Pavelec

Michael Hutchinson

Injured: Grant Clitsome (back), Toby Enstrom (knee), J.C. Lipon (undisclosed), Bryan Little (neck), Tyler Myers (hip, knee), Anthony Peluso (upper body), Mathieu Perreault (concussion)

Scratched: Chase De Leo, Scott Kosmachuk

Status report: Myers had played all 72 games this season before Thursday.

Who's hot: Kopitar has four goals and five assists in his past seven games…Wheeler has a goal and four assists in his past six games.

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