Previewing the Los Angeles Kings' 2011-12 season:
Game 6 @ Phoenix
October 20, 2011
7pm PST (10pm EST)
The Los Angeles Kings will take on their first divisional opponent of the 2011-12 season as they travel to Glendale to take on the Phoenix Coyotes. While Phoenix is coming off a 5-2 loss to Chicago on Tuesday night, the Kings are coming a 5-0 win over St. Louis that same night so we'll see how much of a factor momentum plays tonight.
Last season, the Kings and Coyotes met six times with each team winning three games. For Los Angeles, two of the achilles heels, forward Lee Stempniak and goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, are gone having moved on to Calgary and Philadelphia, respectively. Even with the absences of the aforementioned, don't expect anyone on this Kings team to overlook tonight's home team. After all, captain Shane Doan and Ray Whitney are still in town and with three goals apiece thus far, look for them to cause trouble for the silver-and-black.
Phoenix comes into tonight's game at 2-2-1 and looking to get back into the win column. Although goaltender Jason Labarbera is familiar with his former team from Los Angeles, expect Mike Smith to get the call between the pipes for Phoenix tonight.
After his shutout last game, it would come as no surprise that Jonathan Quick will get the start in goal for the Kings again tonight. #32 is 3-0-1 with a 1.20 GAA so far this season so why not go with the hot hand? Plus, Quick is on the verge of making his history tonight as, with a win, he will become the third goaltender in franchise history to record 100 wins with the club.
Should the Kings have any success tonight, they should keep an eye out for defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who, like the aforementioned Doan and Whitney, has three goals to his credit so far this season.
Los Angeles began their conference schedule with a win on Tuesday so let's hope they can kick their division schedule off in the same fashion.
Enjoy the game!
Photo: Courtesy of Hockey World Blog