February 27, 2013 3:14 pm

Game 18 Preview: Detroit at Los Angeles

Projected Starting Goaltender, Los Angeles – Jonathan Bernier
Season: 4 GP (3 GS) / 3-1-0 record / 1.80 GAA / .916 Sv% / 0 SHO
Career vs Detroit: 3(1) / 0-1-0 / 4.79 / .811 / 0
Last Game vs Detroit: 12/17/11 / 51 MP / 15/20 shots / ND
2012-13, Home: 1 (1) / 1-0-0 / 1.00 / .923 / 0

Projected Starting Goaltender, Detroit – Jimmy Howard
Season: 17 (17) / 8-6-2 / 2.88 / .901 / 1
Career vs Los Angeles: 11 (11) / 6-5-0 / 2.75 / .915 / 0
Last Game vs Los Angeles: 2/10/13 / 60 MP / 45/47 shots / W
2012-13, Away: 5 (5) / 1-2-1 / 3.99 / .870 / 0

Leading Scorers, Los Angeles
Total Points: Anze Kopitar (5-10=15)
Goals: Jeff Carter (10-2=12)
Assists: Anze Kopitar (5-10=15)
Plus/Minus: Slava Voynov (+12; 3-6=9)
Penalty Minutes: Mike Richards (30; 4-8=12)

Leading Scorers, Detroit
Total Points: Henrik Zetterberg (6-19=25)
Goals: Damien Brunner (10-6=16)
Assists: Henrik Zetterberg (6-19=25)
Plus/Minus: Kyle Quincey (+10; 0-0=0)
Penalty Minutes: Jordin Tootoo (51; 2-2=4)

A stick tap goes to: The Red Wings’ hockey operations and European scouting. They’ve found another gem in Damien Brunner, who is on pace for a hefty raise from his one-year, $925,000 contract if he chooses to continue to forego his Swiss lifestyle for a career in Detroit, Michigan.

A fist shake goes to: The large swaths of red that will take over entire sections at Staples Center. Who are you? How did you get those tickets? Are you Kings fans the 362 days of the year that these teams don’t meet, or did Kings fans sell you their seats? It’s not as big of an issue as it was 10 to 15 years ago, but when Detroit visits L.A., there’s plenty of support for the visiting team.

Why the Kings need to win this game: They would like to sustain the momentum gained from an emotional win over Anaheim and a strong second half of February. A win would also complete the weekly trifecta of defeating teams they had lost to earlier in the season (see: Avalanche, Ducks). They’re in 10th place, and there’s going to be a glut of around eight or nine teams fighting for five playoff spots.

Rankings and Statistics

Goals/Game: LAK – 19 / 2.59; DET – 5 / 2.95
Goals Against/Game: LAK – 9 / 2.35; DET – 18 / 2.84
Power Play: LAK – 23 / 15.2%; DET – 20 / 16.5%
Penalty Kill: LAK – 17 / 80.8%; DET – 24 / 76.9%
Shots/Game: LAK – t-11 / 29.5; DET – 14 / 29.1
Shots Against/Game: LAK – 2 / 25.0; DET – t-14 / 28.6
Faceoffs: LAK – t-8 / 51.3%; DET – t-2 / 53.5%

Projected Lines – Los Angeles

Dustin Brown – Anze Kopitar – Justin Williams
Trevor Lewis – Mike Richards – Jeff Carter
Dustin Penner – Jarret Stoll – Dwight King
Kyle Clifford – Colin Fraser – Jordan Nolan

Jake Muzzin – Drew Doughty
Rob Scuderi – Slava Voynov
Keaton Ellerby – Davis Drewiske

Jonathan Bernier
Jonathan Quick

Notes: Keaton Ellerby and Jake Muzzin have rotated alongside Drew Doughty over the previous four games. Rob Scuderi has recorded a plus-2 rating in each of his last four games. Slava Voynov is a plus-10 over his last eight games. Jeff Carter has recorded goals in four straight games. Dustin Brown has recorded goals in three straight games. Anze Kopitar and Mike Richards have recorded points in three straight games. As always, line pairings are educated assessments and not definite alignments.

Projected Lines – Detroit

Johan Franzen – Henrik Zetterberg – Damien Brunner
Justin Abdelkader – Pavel Datsyuk – Daniel Cleary
Tomas Tatar – Joakim Andersson – Patrick Eaves
Drew Miller – Cory Emmerton – Jordin Tootoo

Niklas Kronwall – Jonathan Ericsson
Kyle Quincey – Brendan Smith
Brian Lashoff – Jakub Kindl

Jimmy Howard
Jonas Gustavsson

Notes: Brendan Smith is likely to return after missing 11 games with a shoulder injury. Former King Kyle Quincey is likely to return after missing two games with a sore ankle, per MLive. Valtteri Filppula is unlikely to play because of a shoulder injury. Ian White and Kent Huskins are projected as healthy scratches. Carlo Colaiacovo is nearing a return. The Red Wings have won two in a row, outscoring Vancouver and Nashville 12-3. As always, line pairings are educated assessments and not definite alignments.

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