Previewing the Los Angeles Kings' 2013-14 season:
Game 23 vs. New Jersey
November 21, 2013
7:30pm PST (10:30pm EST)
After shutting them out six days ago in Newark, the Los Angeles Kings are looking to sweep their season series with the New Jersey Devils when they host their 2012 Stanley Cup Final opponents at Staples Center on Thursday.
Despite their 8-8-5 mark, the Devils are 6-3-1 in their last 10 with a 4-3 overtime win in Anaheim on Wednesday to open their tour of California. While the OT-winner was a product of shaky Ducks defense (so bad that it earned Worst Play of the Day honors on TSN’s Sportscentre), the Devils were happy to take it as it was their first post-regulation win of the season.
As for the Kings, they are rolling. Winners of a season-high four-straight, they look to continue on that high especially with Ben Scrivens who, despite having his shutout streak ended last game, is just as hot. In fact, at the Prudential Center on November 15, Scrivens turned away all 26 Devils shots en route to his team’s win – especially impressive considering the Kings were only able to muster a single goal before Anze Kopitar’s empty-netter in the dying seconds.
While they haven’t put on an offensive clinic in recent games, Tuesday night was a different story for the silver-and-black as they put up five against Ben Bishop and the Lightning with one of the scorers being Dwight King, who scored last week versus New Jersey.
Last game, Anze Kopitar, Justin Williams and Drew Doughty each had a pair of assists and are hoping to build on that on Thursday. Williams even enters Thursday on a roll having recorded five points in his last five outings.
Despite having an off-night offensively on Tuesday, the young trio of Tyler Toffoli, Tanner Pearson and Linden Vey hope to get back on track and help their team to a fifth-straight victory.
For New Jersey, 41-year-old Jaromir Jagr continues to build on his Hall-of-Fame resume despite his age. While he leads his team in scoring this season, Jagr has three points in his last two games. Needless to say, the Kings need to watch out for No. 68.
In goal for the Devils, expect Cory Schneider to get the nod. Last week, Schneider played great in a losing effort stopping 20 of the 21 Kings shots he faced. Martin Brodeur also played on Wednesday in Anaheim so that’s some extra incentive for the former Canuck backstop to get the call at Staples Center.
Whether it’s another offensive output or solid goaltending, the Kings will be determined to put together five wins in a row one way or another.
We’ll see if they can do just that.
Enjoy the game!