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Preview: Devils at Kings

New Jersey could use Keith Kinkaid; Jeff Zatkoff available for Los Angeles

by Abbey Mastracco / NHL.com Correspondent

DEVILS (9-4-3) at KINGS (8-9-1)

4 p.m. ET; FS-W, MSG+, NHL.TV

 
Devils team scope

The New Jersey Devils had a five-game winning streak end with a 3-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday, but they don't feel it cost them any momentum. "It's tough to say that maybe we deserved to win," forward Kyle Palmieri said Friday. "But it was just a couple little mistakes that ended up in the back of [our] net. Overall, I think we had a pretty solid game and a pretty good effort." For the second straight game, the offensive-minded Devils will play a heavy-checking, defensive-minded opponent. Coach John Hynes said the key to withstanding the Los Angeles Kings' physical defensive play is managing minutes, staying in the offensive zone, and not veering too far from their own game. "It's important to be able to play with the puck," Hynes said. "I think sometimes if you're checking a lot, that makes you tired. That was a focus of ours prior to the trip and also now on the trip." Hynes said he has decided on a goalie (Cory Schneider or Keith Kinkaid) but hasn't told the players and declined to announce it to the media.

 
Kings team scope

Goalie Jeff Zatkoff will return but likely will back up Peter Budaj. Zatkoff had a setback in his first game since a groin injury sustained Nov. 11 at the Ottawa Senators, when he was removed after two periods. It was his first start after missing eight games and he sat out two more. "I felt really good in the game, but about halfway through the second (period) there was a play where I went laterally, right to left, and kind of came up a little lame, it started spasming," Zatkoff said. He was able to practice Friday without any pain. "I didn't have that hesitancy and I'm feeling back to that," he said. "I've been able to test it out for a week. I put that strain on it and it held up." The Kings ended a four-game losing streak with a 4-2 win against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday. "We have lapses in our game that's causing other teams to dominate certain periods of the game," defenseman Drew Doughty said. "We need more consistency every single shift from every single player."

 
Devils projected lineup

Beau Bennett -- Travis Zajac -- PA Parenteau

Pavel Zacha -- Adam Henrique -- Kyle Palmieri

Reid Boucher -- Jacob Josefson -- Devante Smith-Pelly

Sergey Kalinin -- Vernon Fiddler -- Nick Lappin

Andy Greene -- Damon Severson

John Moore -- Kyle Quincey

Jon Merrill -- Ben Lovejoy

Cory Schneider

Keith Kinkaid

Scratched: Blake Pietila, Michael Cammalleri

Injured: Taylor Hall (knee), Yohann Auvitu (upper body)

 
Kings projected lineup

Tanner Pearson -- Jeff Carter -- Tyler Toffoli

Dustin Brown -- Nic Dowd -- Devin Setoguchi

Dwight King -- Trevor Lewis -- Jordan Nolan

Kyle Clifford -- Nick Shore -- Teddy Purcell

Derek Forbort -- Drew Doughty

Jake Muzzin -- Alec Martinez

Kevin Gravel -- Tom Gilbert

Peter Budaj

Jeff Zatkoff

Scratched: Matt Greene

Injured: Anze Kopitar (upper body), Andy Andreoff (thumb), Brayden McNabb (arm), Marian Gaborik (foot), Jonathan Quick (groin)

 
Status report

The Kings reassigned goalie Jack Campbell to Ontario of the American Hockey League on Friday. … Kings coach Darryl Sutter said he hasn't made a decision whether to start Zatkoff or Budaj in back-to-back games when Los Angeles plays at the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday. "[Zatkoff] said he was ready last time, but there's three periods," Sutter said. "I don't have much patience for that stuff. We have one goalie who has a winning record and one goalie who hasn't won a game yet." … Kopitar, Gaborik and Andreoff skated at practice Friday. Sutter said Kopitar is getting closer but is unavailable. … Hynes said he hasn't ruled out using Pietila on this road trip, possibly here. … Hynes had no update on Auvitu but said he hopes to have one by Saturday morning.

 
Who's hot

Henrique has five points in three games. … Quincey has three points in three games. … Zajac has a goal and four assists in eight games. … Carter has eight points in seven games. … Toffoli has five points in six games. … Forbort has two multipoint games in the past six, the first two of his NHL career.

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