Previewing the Los Angeles Kings' 2011-12 season:
Game 26 vs. Montreal
December 3, 2011
12:30pm PST (3:30pm EST)
The Los Angeles Kings aren’t entering tomorrow’s game in the most ideal of circumstances. They enter the contest winners of their last two and playing a Montreal team who lost their last four. However, it was announced today that Mike Richards will be placed on injured reserve tomorrow and thus, will be out for at least the next seven days. To make matters worse, defenseman Willie Mitchell isn’t likely to play tomorrow either who left last night’s game with a lower-body injury.
It’s onward and upward, though, as the Kings need to focus on their lone meeting with the Canadiens this season. With Richards out, Dustin Penner will be back in – too bad that doesn’t excite any Kings fans in the least. As for who will replace Mitchell on the blueline, Davis Drewiske, who has been a healthy scratch during all but one game thus far, will be in the lineup tomorrow night. Brad Richardson will also be re-inserted into the lineup replacing Trent Hunter.
In goal for the Kings, it will be Jonathan Bernier making the start against his hometown team. Bernier also started in Los Angeles’ lone meeting with the Habs last season, losing 4-1 last November 24 in Montreal. However, with his recent performances, the Kings should have ample reason to be optimistic to have #45 in goal, despite the success of Jonathan Quick as of late. In Bernier’s last outing, November 22 in St. Louis, he stopped 23 of 25 shots, stymieing the Blues en route to the win. Los Angeles should expect the same type of performance tomorrow.
At 10-11-5, the Montreal Canadiens currently sit in a three-way tie for 9th in the East just a single point out of a playoff spot. Since backup Peter Budaj played in San Jose last night, expect Carey Price to be back in goal tomorrow afternoon for the road team. Also, in spite of what was said yesterday, defenseman Andrei Markov will not play tomorrow as originally expected. The injured defenseman met with a doctor today where it was determined that he is not quite ready to go.
This is the fifth and final game of Montreal’s road trip. Having gone 0-2-2 so far, the Habs are determined to pick up a pair of points before heading back home. The Kings, however, might have something to say about that.
Let's hope they can continue to win despite their new setbacks. Enjoy the game!
Photo: Courtesy of Associated Press