MAPLE LEAFS (8-5-0) at KINGS (9-2-1)
10:30 p.m. ET; TSN4, FS-W, NHL.TV
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
Scratched: Matt Martin, Dominic Moore, Nikita Zaitsev
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
Scratched: Nic Dowd, Christian Folin, Paul LaDue
Injured: Kyle Clifford (upper body), Marian Gaborik (knee)
Fantenberg will return after missing the last two games of the Kings' road trip with back spasms.
The Maple Leafs are 4-1-0 against the Western Conference this season; the Kings are 8-1-0 against the Eastern Conference.