No matter what, it’s shaping up to be an interesting time around the Kings. General manager Dean Lombardi didn’t accompany the team on the two-game trip, which isn’t unusual. Assistant GM Ron Hextall, though, was a “late scratch,’’ as he was expected to be on the trip but stayed home at the last minute. On the ice tonight, the Kings will make at least two changes, with Alec Martinez expected to replace Davis Drewiske on defense, and Jarret Stoll returning and replacing…someone…somewhere. It’s still not known where Stoll will play, and Darryl Sutter talked his way around the question, when asked if Stoll would play on the fourth line in his first game back.
SUTTER: “It’s going to be based strictly on performance, how he’s feeling and what we can get out of it. He can play two positions and he plays special teams. It just depends on the game.’’
More important than that will be the first goal. The Kings and Phoenix are accustomed to playing low-scoring games. The Kings have a 20-4-5 record when they score the first goal and the Coyotes have a 25-4-5 record when they score first. Sutter was asked about the increased need for a strong start.
SUTTER: “We’ve done that the last two games, and we haven’t scored. So how do you get more aggressive and not be down two (goals)? Breaking it down, in terms of zone time and chance time, it was almost two-to-one (against Calgary). It’s like we tell the players, `You don’t have to do anything different. You can do it better, though.’’’