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game preview

Maple Leafs at Kings preview

Los Angeles looks to tie best start in its history; McElhinney will start for Toronto

by Dan Greenspan / NHL.com Correspondent

MAPLE LEAFS (8-5-0) at KINGS (9-2-1)

10:30 p.m. ET; TSN4, FS-W, NHL.TV 

 

The Game 

The Toronto Maple Leafs can sweep the season series against the Los Angeles Kings, who are seeking to match their best start in franchise history, when they meet at Staples Center on Thursday.

A Los Angeles win would equal its 10-2-1 start in 1980-81. The Kings have yet to lose consecutive games this season, but are coming off a 4-2 defeat at the St. Louis Blues on Monday in the finale of a six-game road trip (4-2-0). The other loss during the trip was 3-2 at the Maple Leafs on Oct. 23, when forward Patrick Marleau scored the winning goal.  

The Maple Leafs are 2-4-0 in their past six games after opening the season 6-1-0. Playing the second game of a back-to-back set and their third game in four days, goaltender Curtis McElhinney will start for the second time this season; he made 30 saves in a 6-3 win against the Detroit Red Wings on Oct. 18.

Goaltender Jonathan Quick will start for the Kings; he's 7-2-1 with a 1.89 goals-against average, best in the NHL among goalies with more than four starts, and .942 save percentage, which leads the League among goalies with more than four starts.

 

Players to watch

Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, who has eight points (four goals, four assists) in his past six games, has yet to go consecutive games without scoring a goal this season. Matthews did not score against the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday, his third game without a point this season.

Kings rookie center Adrian Kempe, playing on the second line between Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli, has nine points (six goals, three assists) in his past seven games.

 


They said it

"Been around a while I guess. No, it's pretty cool to say you got a hundred of those. Hope there's a lot more where that came from." -- Maple Leafs forward Patrick Marleau on his 100 career game-winning goals

"There's no room for putting your feet up and trying to relax a little bit." -- Kings coach John Stevens, on avoiding complacency after their six-game road trip 

 

Maple Leafs projected lineup

Zach Hyman -- Auston Matthews -- William Nylander

James van Riemsdyk -- Patrick Marleau -- Connor Brown

Leo Komarov -- Nazem Kadri -- Josh Leivo

Kasperi Kapanen -- Tyler Bozak -- Mitchell Marner

Morgan Rielly -- Ron Hainsey

Jake Gardiner -- Connor Carrick

Andreas Borgman -- Roman Polak

Curtis McElhinney

Frederik Andersen

Scratched: Matt Martin, Dominic Moore, Nikita Zaitsev

Injured: None

 

Kings projected lineup

Alex Iafallo -- Anze Kopitar -- Dustin Brown

Tanner Pearson -- Adrian Kempe -- Tyler Toffoli

Michael Cammalleri -- Nick Shore -- Trevor Lewis

Andy Andreoff -- Brooks Laich -- Michael Amadio

Derek Forbort -- Drew Doughty

Jake Muzzin -- Alec Martinez

Kurtis MacDermid -- Oscar Fantenberg

Jonathan Quick 

Darcy Kuemper

Scratched: Nic Dowd, Christian Folin, Paul LaDue

Injured: Kyle Clifford (upper body), Marian Gaborik (knee)

 

Status report

Fantenberg will return after missing the last two games of the Kings' road trip with back spasms. 

 

Stat pack

The Maple Leafs are 4-1-0 against the Western Conference this season; the Kings are 8-1-0 against the Eastern Conference.

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