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Kings at Penguins preview

Malkin to miss second straight for Pittsburgh; Los Angeles eyes third consecutive win

by Wes Crosby / Independent Correspondent

KINGS (13-18-2) at PENGUINS (18-10-4)



The Game

Evgeni Malkin will miss a second straight game for the Pittsburgh Penguins when they host the Los Angeles Kings at PPG Paints Arena on Saturday.

The 33-year-old center skated on his own Saturday morning after missing practice Friday because of an illness, which held him out of a 1-0 overtime win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday. He is one goal from becoming the eighth active player in the NHL to score 400.

Goalie Tristan Jarry, who has three shutouts in his past four appearances, will start for Pittsburgh, which is 7-3-0 in its past 10 games and 9-1-2 in its past 12 home games.

The Kings, who have won two straight following a four-game losing streak, have been held to two goals or fewer in six of their past eight games.


Players to watch

Kings center Anze Kopitar needs one point to tie Wayne Gretzky (918) for fourth place on Los Angeles' all-time points list.

Penguins forward Jake Guentzel has six points (two goals, four assists) in a four-game point streak.


They said it

"The ability to check and give ourselves a chance in low-scoring affairs has been a nice thing. It's something that we need." -- Kings coach Todd McLellan 

"He's feeling much better today. ... I'll tell you [if Malkin will play] tomorrow." -- Penguins coach Mike Sullivan on Friday


Kings projected lineup

Alex Iafallo -- Anze Kopitar -- Dustin Brown

Jeff Carter -- Michael Amadio -- Tyler Toffoli

Adrian Kempe -- Blake Lizotte -- Austin Wagner

Kyle Clifford -- Nikolai Prokhorkin -- Trevor Lewis

Joakim Ryan -- Drew Doughty

Ben Hutton -- Matt Roy

Kurtis MacDermid -- Sean Walker

Jonathan Quick

Jack Campbell

Scratched: Ilya Kovalchuk, Paul LaDue, Matt Luff

Injured: Alec Martinez (wrist), Derek Forbort (back)


Penguins projected lineup

Alex Galchenyuk -- Jake Guentzel -- Bryan Rust

Zach Aston-Reese -- Jared McCann -- Dominik Kahun

Dominik Simon -- Sam Lafferty -- Stefan Noesen

Joseph Blandisi -- Teddy Blueger -- Brandon Tanev

Kris Letang -- John Marino

Jack Johnson -- Justin Schultz

Marcus Pettersson -- Chad Ruhwedel

Tristan Jarry

Matt Murray

Scratched: Juuso Riikola

Injured: Evgeni Malkin (illness), Sidney Crosby (core muscle surgery), Nick Bjugstad (core muscle surgery), Brian Dumoulin (ankle surgery), Patric Hornqvist (lower body)


Status report

Kovalchuk is expected to be scratched for a 17th straight game. ... Blandisi was recalled on an emergency basis for the second time in three days Saturday. He was also recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League with Malkin ill Thursday.


Stat pack

The Kings ended an 11-game road winless streak (0-10-1) with a 2-1 victory against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday. ... The Penguins have a five-game home point streak against the Kings (3-0-2) dating back to Oct. 30, 2014.

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