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5 Keys: Kings at Golden Knights, Game 2

Los Angeles to be tested without Doughty; Vegas looks to maintain physical edge

by Danny Webster / NHL.com Correspondent

KINGS at GOLDEN KNIGHTS

10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVAS, ATTSN-RM, PRIME

Vegas leads best-of-7 series 1-0

 

LAS VEGAS-- The Vegas Golden Knights will look to take a 2-0 lead in Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round against the Los Angeles Kings at T-Mobile Arena on Friday.

Vegas defeated Los Angeles 1-0 on Wednesday for the first Stanley Cup Playoff victory in its history. A win would make the Golden Knights the fifth team to win its first two playoff games (Anaheim Ducks, Florida Panthers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Kings).

 

[RELATED: Doughty suspension leads to new-look blue line | Complete Golden Knights vs. Kings series coverage]

 

The Kings will try to avoid losing the first two games in a playoff series since losing three straight against the San Jose Sharks in the 2014 Western Conference First Round. Los Angeles came back to win that series in seven games.

Here are 5 keys for Game 2:

 

1. Replacing Doughty

Kings defenseman Drew Doughty was suspended for Game 2 because of an illegal check to the head of Golden Knights forward William Carrier in Game 1.

Doughty led the Kings with 28:02 of ice time and had a game-high six blocked shots in Game 1. The 2016 Norris Trophy winner was a main reason why it was a close game.

"I mean, he's the best defenseman in the League, so it's a huge hole," Kings forward Dustin Brown said. "It's playoffs. You find ways to win."

Kevin Gravel will take Doughty's place in the lineup.

 

2. Carrier's status

Carrier was a full participant at the morning skate Friday and is a game-time decision. He was placed in concussion protocol after the hit in Game 1 but said there wasn't enough time to return after being cleared.

"It happened so quick," Carrier said. "I was full speed, he was full speed. It was just one of those plays. Stuff like that will happen."

 

3. Maintaining an identity

The Golden Knights expected a physical series against the Kings and were not surprised at the 127 combined hits in Game 1.

Vegas was outhit 68-59, but some players noted the importance of playing the up-tempo style of hockey that has made them successful this season.

"I thought we did a great job," forward Alex Tuch said. "Right off the bat, we were hitting, we were physical, and I guess we got the result we wanted out of it."

Carrier had a game-high 10 hits.

 

4. Cracking Fleury

Marc-Andre Fleury made 30 saves for his 11th career playoff shutout in Game 1. He's one postseason shutout from tying Terry Sawchuk for ninth in NHL history.

"We've got to make it a lot tougher on Fleury than we did [on Wednesday]," Kings coach John Stevens said. "We've certainly got to get more traffic in front of him."

Video: LAK@VGK, Gm1: Fleury plays the puck to himself

 

5. Importance for Los Angeles

Game 2 has been pivotal for the Kings' success in previous years. They are 21-27 all time in Game 2 and have won a series 15 of 21 times when winning Game 2. They've only won six of the 27 series when losing Game 2.

When trailing a series 1-0, Los Angeles has won just 8 of 29 times.

 

Kings projected lineup

Tanner Pearson -- Anze Kopitar -- Dustin Brown

Tobias Rieder -- Jeff Carter -- Tyler Toffoli

Trevor Lewis -- Adrian Kempe -- Kyle Clifford

Michael Amadio -- Nate Thompson -- Torrey Mitchell

Oscar Fantenberg -- Kevin Gravel

Alec Martinez -- Christian Folin

Dion Phaneuf -- Paul LaDue

Jonathan Quick

Jack Campbell

Suspended: Drew Doughty

Scratched: Andy Andreoff, Sheldon Rempal, Daniel Brickley, Alex Iafallo

Injured: Derek Forbort (lower body), Jake Muzzin (upper body)

 

Golden Knights projected lineup

Jonathan Marchessault -- William Karlsson -- Reilly Smith

Alex Tuch -- Erik Haula -- James Neal

Ryan Carpenter -- Cody Eakin -- Tomas Tatar

William Carrier -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare -- Tomas Nosek

Brayden McNabb -- Nate Schmidt

Shea Theodore -- Deryk Engelland

Jon Merrill -- Colin Miller

Marc-Andre Fleury

Malcolm Subban

Scratched: Oscar Lindberg, Brad Hunt, Ryan Reaves, Zach Whitecloud

Injured: David Perron (undisclosed), Luca Sbisa (upper body)

 

Status report

Iafallo will not play after being on the first line in Game 1. Pearson takes his place. ... Doughty is eligible to return Game 3 in Los Angeles on Sunday. … Perron will not play. He missed Game 1 and the final six games of the regular season.

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