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Preview: Kings at Senators

Chris Neil returns to lineup for Ottawa; Peter Budaj could make 12th straight start for Los Angeles

by Chris Stevenson / Correspondent

KINGS (7-7-0) at SENATORS (8-5-0)

7:30 p.m. ET; TSN5, RDS, FS-W, NHL.TV


Kings team scope

Los Angeles Kings goaltender Peter Budaj, who has played in 12 straight games (11 starts) likely will start. He is 7-4-0 with a 1.96 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage and had two straight shutouts prior to a 4-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Thursday. The Kings have been inconsistent offensively; they were shut out three games in a row, then scored 15 goals in three straight wins prior to the loss Thursday. Captain Anze Kopitar has two goals this season and none in his past eight games. The Kings power play is 26th on the road (10. 7 percent).


Senators team scope

Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson will start. Forward Chris Neil, who missed a 2-1 shootout win against the Buffalo Sabres because of an injury, will return. Senators coach Guy Boucher said he won't decide on his lineup until after warmups. The Senators haven't scored more than two goals in a game in their past seven games and are 4-3-0. Centers Derick Brassard and Jean-Gabriel Pageau and wing Mark Stone each have one goal in 13 games. Boucher said it hasn't been a concern because they have been committed to improving team defense. "The guys have really bought in," Boucher said. "Now it's to be able to join the two (offence and defense) together. It's normal. I don't want to blame the players for trying to adjust to something different."


Kings projected lineup

Tanner Pearson -- Anze Kopitar -- Teddy Purcell

Dwight King -- Jeff Carter -- Tyler Toffoli

Dustin Brown -- Nic Dowd -- Devin Setoguchi

Kyle Clifford -- Nick Shore -- Trevor Lewis

Derek Forbort -- Drew Doughty

Jake Muzzin -- Alec Martinez

Kevin Gravel -- Matt Greene

Peter Budaj

Jeff Zatkoff

Scratched: Tom Gilbert, Jordan Nolan.

Injured: Marian Gaborik (broken foot), Jonathan Quick (lower body), Brayden McNabb (arm), Andy Andreoff (upper body).


Senators projected lineup

Mike Hoffman -- Derick Brassard -- Bobby Ryan

Ryan Dzingel -- Kyle Turris -- Tom Pyatt

Zack Smith -- Jean-Gabriel Pageau -- Mark Stone

Matt Puempel -- Chris Kelly -- Chris Neil

Marc Methot -- Erik Karlsson

Dion Phaneuf -- Cody Ceci

Mark Borowiecki -- Fredrik Claesson

Craig Anderson

Mike Condon

Scratched: Mike Blunden

Injured: Andrew Hammond (groin), Clarke MacArthur (concussion), Chris Wideman (upper body).


Status Report

Wideman will miss his fifth game, but is close to returning and will take part in warmups, Boucher said. … With Neil in the lineup, Blunden, who played his first game for the Senators against the Sabres, or Puempel are likely to be scratched.


Who's hot

Carter has three goals and two assists in his past four games. … Toffoli has a goal and two assists in his past two games. … Dzingel has a goal and an assist in his past two games.

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