Kings play the numbers game in goal
Will playing the percentages pay off for the Kings? Jonathan Bernier will get the start in goal tomorrow against Nashville, Terry Murray said today, largely because of his previous success against the Predators. Bernier recorded his first NHL shutout in Nashville last March 30, when he stopped 34 shots. Then, on Nov. 6 he stopped 25 of 26 shots in a 4-1 victory over Nashville and, on Dec. 18, he stopped 29 of 30 shots in a 6-1 victory. Bernier’s seeming invincibility against Nashville was broken, though, on Jan. 6, when he allowed five goals on 28 shots in a 5-2 loss. Jonathan Quick faced the Predators three times last season, allowed three goals in each game and lost all three, although he got a total of only five goals of support in the three games.
MURRAY: “When I was started this whole thing, at the start of this trip, I was thinking Quicker would play this one and get back home. When I started out on the road trip here, I started thinking about things and I checked with Krusher [communications manager Mike Kalinowski] to confirm some numbers that were in my mind. It’s too hard to go the other way right now. Bernier has played very well against Nashville. His numbers are really good. I have to put him in, just because of what he has done against this team.”
Also, Brad Richardson will return to the lineup tomorrow after a two-game absence and will replace Kevin Westgarth on the fourth line and skate with Trevor Lewis and Kyle Clifford.
MURRAY: “I want to play four lines tomorrow. (In) the last game of the road trip, we need some good energy from that fourth line tomorrow.”