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Preview: Penguins at Kings

Los Angeles tries to end three-game shutout streak, Pittsburgh goes for fifth consecutive win

by Abbey Mastracco / NHL.com Correspondent

PENGUINS (7-2-1) at KINGS (4-6-0)

10:30 p.m. ET; FS-W, ROOT, NHL.TV

 

Penguins team scope

Marc-Andre Fleury will be in goal for the Pittsburgh Penguins, who go for their fifth straight win and a back-to-back sweep in Southern California. Matt Murray, who had been sidelined with a broken right hand, made his first start of the season in Pittsburgh's 5-1 win against the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday. Five Penguins scored and Murray made 32 saves. Defenseman Kris Letang also returned after missing five games with an upper-body injury and made his presence felt by scoring his first goal of the season. Coach Mike Sullivan said it was the most complete game his team has played so far this season. "I really liked how we played," Sullivan said. "I thought we were skating, we were moving the puck, I thought we executed much better coming out of our end zone and we were on the puck all over the rink. When we do that we are hard to play against." The Penguins did not skate Thursday.

 

Kings team scope

The Los Angeles Kings hope the addition of forward Teddy Purcell will help spur an offense that hasn't scored in three games. Purcell played in Los Angeles' first two games, then missed the next eight with what he described as a nagging lower-body injury and an illness. Coach Darryl Sutter hopes Purcell's return will give the attack a boost. "Hopefully [he'll bring] that element of scoring," Sutter said. "He has the ability to do that, create and hang on to pucks in the offensive zone." Purcell said he'll need to get re-acclimated to the speed of the game, no small feat against one of the fastest teams in the NHL. He plans to keep it simple and try to create some chemistry with center Anze Kopitar. "I look at myself as kind of an offensive player and playmaker, and when you're not scoring goals it's hard," Purcell said. "So hopefully I can come in and kind of contribute and help out any way I can while still being responsible with the puck." Defenseman Kevin Gravel was recalled from Ontario of the American Hockey League to take the place of Tom Gilbert, who received a three-game suspension from the NHL for boarding Anaheim's Nick Ritchie in a 4-0 loss on Tuesday. Ritchie left the game, went through the NHL's concussion protocol and didn't play against Pittsburgh on Wednesday.

 

Penguins projected lineups

Scott Wilson -- Sidney Crosby -- Patric Hornqvist

Chris Kunitz -- Evgeni Malkin -- Phil Kessel

Carl Hagelin -- Nick Bonino -- Bryan Rust

Tom Sestito -- Matt Cullen -- Eric Fehr

Brian Dumoulin -- Kris Letang

Olli Maatta -- Trevor Daley

Ian Cole -- Justin Schultz

Marc-Andre Fleury

Matt Murray

Scratched: David Warsofsky, Tom Kuhnhackl

Injured: Conor Sheary (eye), Derrick Pouliot (undisclosed)

 

Kings projected lineups

Tanner Pearson -- Anze Kopitar -- Teddy Purcell

Dwight King -- Jeff Carter -- Tyler Toffoli

Dustin Brown -- Nic Dowd -- Devin Setoguchi

Kyle Clifford -- Nick Shore -- Trevor Lewis

Jake Muzzin -- Drew Doughty

Kevin Gravel -- Alec Martinez

Derek Forbort -- Matt Greene

Peter Budaj

Jack Campbell

Scratched: Jordan Nolan

Injured: Andy Andreoff (upper body), Brayden McNabb (arm), Marian Gaborik (broken foot), Jeff Zatkoff (groin), Jonathan Quick (groin)

Suspended: Tom Gilbert

 

Status report

Gravel, who failed to make the team out of training camp, worked on the second pairing with Martinez at the morning skate. Budaj left the ice first and is expected to start.

 

Who's hot

Malkin has a team-high 11 points (six goals, five assists) in 10 games. Crosby has four goals and two assists and a four-game point streak since returning from a concussion. Kessel has points in eight of 10 games, including the past four. Hornqvist has points in seven of 10 games.

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