Previewing the Los Angeles Kings' 2013-14 season:
Game 75 vs. Winnipeg
March 29, 2014
7pm PST (10pm EST)
After sweeping their eastern road trip, the Los Angeles Kings return home for three games, beginning on Saturday night against the Winnipeg Jets in the only meeting between the two clubs at Staples Center this year.
Overall, this marks the third and final meeting between the Kings and Jets this season with each team winning one game apiece. The Jets opened the series with a 5-3 win back on October 4 before Los Angeles evened things up with a 3-1 victory on March 6.
Having gone 3-5-2 in their last 10, the Jets have all but completely fallen out of the playoff picture. While they still are mathematically alive sitting nine points back of the final wild card spot in the West, the Jets are essentially playing for pride from here on in. While bringing in Paul Maurice as head coach has certainly steer the team in a new direction, the club has fallen on hard times as of late but will hope to play spoiler on Saturday even though, barring unforeseen circumstances, the Kings won’t finish any better or worse than third in the Pacific Division.
While the Kings have tied a franchise record with their eighth-straight road win, their play on home ice could stand to see some improvement, despite winning their last two decisions at Staples Center. Prior to their current five-game winning streak, which started at home, the Kings lost three-straight games on home ice. But at 21-13-3, their overall home record is still very good and, on paper, superior to Winnipeg’s 16-17-3 record away from the MTS Centre this season. Coming off a Thursday win in San Jose, however, the Jets do hope for the same success on Saturday in a game that will be broadcast across Canada during CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada.
These next three home games for the Kings are critical in the sense that they are looking to garner some momentum in front of their home fans heading into the playoffs. Should they hope to win, however, they will need to contain, among others, Bryan Little, who has two goals and three assists for a four-game point streak for Winnipeg. For the Kings, Alec Martinez has a four-game point streak of his own having scored two goals and adding two assists over that stretch.
It should be a great contest.
Enjoy the game!