GOLDEN KNIGHTS (41-16-4) at KINGS (33-24-5)
10:30 p.m. ET; ATTSN-RM, FS-W, SN, NHL.TV
The Los Angeles Kings will try to move back into a Stanley Cup Playoff spot when they play the first of a home-and-home against the Vegas Golden Knights at Staples Center on Monday.
The Kings are in fifth place in the Pacific Division with 71 points, two behind the idle Calgary Flames for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference. The Golden Knights have the best record in the West and an 11-point lead in the Pacific Division over the second-place San Jose Sharks.
Los Angeles coach John Stevens called the two games against Vegas, which includes a visit to T-Mobile Arena on Tuesday, a "playoff series."
The Golden Knights have won five of their past five games, including a 6-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday. Forward Ryan Reaves will make his Vegas debut after being acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins in a three-team trade involving the Ottawa Senators on Feb. 23.
Players to watch
Kings forward Dustin Brown has four points (two goals, two assists) in his past five games.
Golden Knights forward Reilly Smith has 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) in his past 10 games.
They said it
"Well, you don't want to wade into the hockey game. I think we got to come out and play a real sound team game where we manage the puck early." -- Kings coach John Stevens on the team's recent struggles in the first period
"Even when you're not playing against him, you're always looking over your back for where he's at and just making sure. That's kind of the presence that he brings to the game, and we're happy to have that." -- Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt on Ryan Reaves
Golden Knights projected lineup
Reilly Smith -- Jonathan Marchessault -- William Karlsson
David Perron -- Erik Haula -- James Neal
Ryan Carpenter -- Cody Eakin -- Alex Tuch
Tomas Nosek -- Oscar Lindberg -- Ryan Reaves
Brayden McNabb -- Nate Schmidt
Luca Sbisa -- Deryk Engelland
Colin Miller -- Jon Merrill
Scratched: Brad Hunt
Injured: Malcolm Subban (upper body), Shea Theodore (illness)
Kings projected lineup
Alex Iafallo -- Anze Kopitar -- Dustin Brown
Tanner Pearson -- Jeff Carter -- Tyler Toffoli
Tobias Rieder -- Adrian Kempe -- Nate Thompson
Kyle Clifford -- Michael Amadio -- Torrey Mitchell
Derek Forbort -- Drew Doughty
Dion Phaneuf -- Alec Martinez
Jake Muzzin -- Christian Folin
Scratched: Andy Andreoff, Paul LaDue, Kevin Gravel
Injured: Trevor Lewis (upper body)
Lewis is skating on his own but has not been cleared to practice.
The Golden Knights are 26-3-0 when scoring first. … The Kings are 15-21-3 when the opponent scores first and have allowed the first goal in seven of their past nine games (4-5-0).