Previewing the Los Angeles Kings' 2013-14 season:
Game 22 vs. Tampa Bay
November 19, 2013
7:30pm PST (10:30pm EST)
Coming off wins in their last three outings and points in their last six, the Los Angeles Kings are riding high right now – and their most recent solid play is thanks in large part to goaltender Ben Scrivens who is coming off shutouts in his team’s previous two contests. As great as Scrivens and the Kings feel right now, though, they welcome a great test on Tuesday night in the East-leading Tampa Bay Lightning.
At 14-6-0, the Lightning are also riding high despite, like the Kings, losing a franchise player to injury. Last Monday, Steven Stamkos went down with a broken leg but as debilitating as that news seemed, Tampa Bay has continued to play well despite losing in Phoenix on Saturday where goaltender Ben Bishop was pulled after allowing three goals on 14 shots.
Still, the Lightning are 7-1-0 against teams from the Western Conference thus far and on Tuesday, they hope to capitalize against a Kings team they already beat on October 15 in Florida. That night, Martin St. Louis scored twice and the aforementioned Bishop was solid en route to a 5-1 Bolts win.
Speaking of St. Louis, the veteran has a goal and three assists in his past two games and has 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in 14 games against Los Angeles. Needless to say, the Kings have more than enough reason to contain St. Louis on Tuesday.
In said game, Jonathan Quick was pulled after allowing three goals while Ben Scrivens allowed two more in relief.
The goaltending situation this time, however, is different as Scrivens, coming off First Star of the Week honours, will (most likely) be getting his fourth-straight start after Quick went down to injury last week. While Scrivens does hope to build on his seven-straight periods of shutout hockey, a fourth-consecutive win will prove to be just as, if not more, valuable to the silver-and-black and their fans.
Aside from Tyler Toffoli, who has four goals in his first seven games since being called up from Manchester, there isn’t much to write home about in terms of the Kings’ offense. With that said, their defense has been spectacular as of late, even with Scrivens successfully shutting the door on the opposition on their recent road swing.
At Staples Center on Tuesday evening, it will be a battle of two hot clubs as the hometown Kings look to come out with a bigger end of the stick and move forward with another win.
Enjoy the game!