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Kings at Hurricanes preview

Carolina juggles lines in finale of eight-game homestand; Quick starts for Los Angeles

by Kurt Dusterberg / Correspondent

KINGS (30-20-5) at HURRICANES (26-21-9)

7 p.m. ET; FS-CR, FS-W, NHL.TV


The Game

Goaltender Cam Ward will start for the Carolina Hurricanes against the Los Angeles Kings at PNC Arena on Tuesday.

Carolina is 4-2-1 entering the final game of an eight-game homestand and holds the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. Ward will make his ninth start in 12 games.

Sebastian Aho, who regularly plays left wing on Carolina's top line, will move to center between Jeff Skinner and Lee Stempniak. Jordan Staal will center for Brock McGinn and Elias Lindholm.

Goaltender Jonathan Quick will start for the Kings, who are one point behind the Minnesota Wild for the second wild card in the Western Conference. Los Angeles will be without forward Dustin Brown, who is serving a one-game suspension for kneeing Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev on Saturday.

The Kings defeated the Hurricanes 3-2 in overtime in Los Angeles on Dec. 9.

Players to watch

Kings center Anze Kopitar has three goals and three assists in a four-game point streak.

Aho has 20 points (13 goals, seven assists) in his past 18 games.


They said it

"The thing with Brown, he's one of those guys that plays every night. He plays a hard game, but he rarely misses a hockey game. He plays in a lot of situations, so it's a real good opportunity for other guys to pick up some of those minutes, whether it's power play, penalty kill or 5-on-5." -- Kings coach John Stevens

"I need real plays being made on all 200 feet. (Aho) is an unselfish guy. If somebody's open, he's going to pass the puck. It's a seamless transition. When you have elite players and super-competitive players, you can play them anywhere." -- Hurricanes coach Bill Peters


Kings projected lineup

Alex Iafallo -- Anze Kopitar -- Tyler Toffoli

Tanner Pearson -- Adrian Kempe - Marian Gaborik

Kyle Clifford -- Torrey Mitchell -- Michael Amadio

Andy Andreoff -- Nick Shore -- Jonny Brodzinski

Derek Forbort -- Drew Doughty

Jake Muzzin -- Paul LaDue

Alec Martinez -- Christian Folin

Jonathan Quick

Darcy Kuemper

Scratched: Kevin Gravel

Injured: Jeff Carter (lower body), Trevor Lewis (upper body)

Suspended: Dustin Brown


Hurricanes projected lineup

Brock McGinn -- Jordan Staal -- Elias Lindholm

Teuvo Teravainen -- Victor Rask -- Justin Williams

Jeff Skinner -- Sebastian Aho -- Lee Stempniak

Joakim Nordstrom -- Derek Ryan -- Phillip Di Giuseppe

Jaccob Slavin -- Brett Pesce

Haydn Fleury -- Justin Faulk

Noah Hanifin -- Trevor van Riemsdyk

Cam Ward

Scott Darling

Scratched: Klas Dahlbeck

Injured: None


Status report

Lewis, who was injured against the Florida Panthers on Friday, was evaluated again Monday, according to Stevens, who said he does not consider Lewis day-to-day but does not anticipate a long absence.


Stat pack

The Kings are 5-2-0 in their past seven, allowing five goals in the wins. Doughty leads all NHL defensemen in ice time at 27:01. … The Hurricanes are 17-for-17 on the penalty kill in the past seven games.

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