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Kings to try Kopitar, Carter as linemates vs. Bruins

by Curtis Zupke

BRUINS (14-10-1) at KINGS (12-7-5)


EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- There appeared to be a full complement of available players for the Los Angeles Kings at the morning skate Tuesday. Defenseman Alec Martinez and right wing Marian Gaborik participated, although neither is expected to be in the lineup when the Kings play the Boston Bruins at Staples Center.

Martinez (finger) and Gaborik (upper body) did not take part in line rushes and Gaborik stayed out with the extras.

Sutter mixed his lines and put centers Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter together with Tanner Pearson at left wing. Kopitar has gone five games without a point and Carter has one goal in nine games.

"We're trying to find ways to get that other half-a-goal a game and even our goals-for is better than it was at any time other than the [Stanley Cup] Playoffs last year," Sutter said. "We mixed and matched all through the playoffs and we'll mix and match again. We're just trying to find another half goal."

Carter has been broken up with usual linemates Pearson and right wing Tyler Toffoli for several weeks as the Kings search for more offense.

"We seem to be switching lines quite a bit lately," Carter said. "I've played center/wing pretty much every other game this year so it's nothing really different than what we usually do."

Los Angeles is 1-2-1 in its past four games and been outscored 6-1 in the opening period in three of those games. Goals could be at a premium against a Bruins team that is as defensive-minded as the Kings.

"They're a big, strong team," Carter said. "Pretty similar to the way we're built and the way we play. Over the last couple of years that I've been here they've always been pretty exciting games, so I expect nothing less."

Suspended defenseman Slava Voynov took part in the Tuesday practice. The NHL fined the Kings $100,000 for violating the terms of Voynov's suspension.

Boston is coming off a tough 3-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Monday. The Bruins reportedly had an optional skate; it is not known if goalie Tuukka Rask would get the start again. The Bruins' Twitter account reported that coach Claude Julien said he would make game-time decisions and that "we're in for the same kind of a battle, and probably even tougher than we had last night."

Here are the projected lineups:


Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak

Milan Lucic - Carl Soderberg - Loui Eriksson

Reilly Smith - Chris Kelly - Matt Fraser

Daniel Paille - Gregory Campbell - Simon Gagne

Dennis Seidenberg - Dougie Hamilton

Joe Morrow - Torey Krug

Matt Bartkowski - Kevan Miller

Niklas Svedberg

Tuukka Rask

Scratched: Craig Cunningham, Seth Griffith, Zach Trotman

Injured: David Krejci (undisclosed), Zdeno Chara (knee), Adam McQuaid (thumb), David Warsofsky (groin)


Tanner Pearson - Anze Kopitar - Jeff Carter

Dwight King - Mike Richards - Tyler Toffoli

Dustin Brown - Jarret Stoll - Justin Williams

Kyle Clifford - Trevor Lewis - Jordan Nolan

Jake Muzzin - Drew Doughty

Robyn Regehr - Matt Greene

Brayden McNabb - Jamie McBain

Jonathan Quick

Martin Jones

Scratched: Andy Andreoff

Suspended: Slava Voynov

Injured: Marian Gaborik (upper body), Alec Martinez (finger)

Status report: Julien told reporters it was a "coach's decision" Monday to scratch Miller, a Southern California product who is believed to be banged up. If he plays, it would be his first game at Staples Center. … Cunningham and Griffith reportedly stayed out as extras. … Sutter also changed up two of the defensemen pairings, leaving intact only the Doughty-Muzzin pair.

Who's hot: Muzzin has six points in his past seven games and 11 points in 11 games. … Quick is 9-1-1 with a 1.34 goals-against average and .954 save percentage in his past 11 home games. … Marchand scored his Bruins-best sixth goal Monday to end a seven-game goal drought.

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