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Kings at Lightning preview

Kuemper in goal for Los Angeles; Tampa Bay 6-2-0 in past eight

by Corey Long / NHL.com Correspondent

KINGS (30-19-5) AT LIGHTNING (37-14-3)

7 p.m. ET, SUN, FS-W, NHL.TV 

 

The Game

The Los Angeles Kings will try to win their fourth consecutive game when they visit the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on Saturday.

The Kings are on the second half of back-to-back games after a 3-1 win against the Florida Panthers on Friday. They are 5-1-0 in their past six games and are second in the Pacific Division, one point ahead of the San Jose Sharks, Calgary Flames and Anaheim Ducks.

The Lightning have 77 points, best in the NHL, and are in first place in the Atlantic Division, with a three-point lead on the Boston Bruins, having played two more games. Tampa Bay is 6-2-0 in its past eight games and is 18-5-1 at Amalie Arena this season.

Tampa Bay defeated Los Angeles 5-2 at Staples Center on Nov. 9.

 

Players to watch

Anze Kopitar scored his 22nd goal of the season Friday and has five points (three goals, two assists) in his past three games. 

Alex Killorn has seven points (three goals, four assists) in his past four games. 

 

They said it

"I thought [goalie Jonathan Quick] was really good early and that allowed us to get our feet on the ground. ... We are starting a long trip so I thought it was important to get off on the right foot. It's a good two points to start the trip." -- Kings coach John Stevens on their seven-game road trip

"[Los Angeles] is a big, heavy team and a team that checks. How are we going to respond to these guys? We have to find a way to get inside and use our speed to our advantage." -- Lightning coach Jon Cooper

 

Kings projected lineup

Alex Iafallo -- Anze Kopitar -- Tyler Toffoli

Tanner Pearson -- Adrian Kempe -- Dustin Brown

Kyle Clifford -- Torrey Mitchell -- Trevor Lewis

Andy Andreoff -- Nick Shore -- Jonny Brodzinski

Derek Forbort -- Drew Doughty

Jake Muzzin -- Paul LaDue

Alec Martinez -- Christian Folin

Darcy Kuemper

Jonathan Quick

Scratched: Marian Gaborik, Michael Amadio, Kevin Gravel

Injured: Jeff Carter (lower body)

 

Lightning projected lineup

Yanni Gourde -- Steven Stamkos -- Tyler Johnson

Alex Killorn -- Brayden Point -- Nikita Kucherov

Cory Conacher -- Vladislav Namestnikov -- Adam Erne

Chris Kunitz -- Matthew Peca -- Ryan Callahan

Victor Hedman -- Anton Stralman

Mikhail Sergachev -- Dan Girardi

Andrej Sustr -- Braydon Coburn

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Louis Domingue

Scratched: Slater Koekkoek, Cedric Paquette, Jake Dotchin

Injured: Ondrej Palat (lower body), Peter Budaj (lower body)

 

Status report

The Kings did not hold a morning skate. ... Lewis left the game Friday after being checked by Panthers center Jared McCann. If he can't play, Gaborik could return to the lineup after being a healthy scratch the past three games. ... Paquette likely will be a healthy scratch for the fifth consecutive game.

 

Stat pack

Kuemper is 4-0-0, with a 0.74 goals-against-average, .973 save percentage and two shutouts in his past four starts. ... Stamkos and Gourde each scored their 20th goals of the season Thursday. It's Stamkos' ninth 20-goal season; Gourde became the fifth Lightning rookie to score 20 or more goals. ... Muzzin has 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in his past 12 games. ... Vasilevskiy is 5-1-0 with a .938 save percentage and one shutout over his past six starts. 

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