March 18, 2013 3:51 pm

Game 28 Preview: Phoenix at Los Angeles

Projected Starting Goaltender, Los Angeles – Jonathan Quick
Season: 21 GP (20 GS) / 9-8-2 record / 2.69 GAA / .891 Sv% / 0 SHO
Career vs Phoenix: 24 (24) / 11-10-3 / 2.65 / .904 / 3
Last Game vs Phoenix: 3/12/13 / 60 MP / 24-29 shots / 2-5 L
2012-13, Home: 9 (8) / 6-2-1 / 2.16 / .894 / 0

Projected Starting Goaltender, Phoenix – Mike Smith
Season: 23 (23) / 11-8-3 / 2.78 / .903 / 4
Career vs Los Angeles: 12 (12) / 9-2-1 / 1.65 / .941 / 2
Last Game vs Los Angeles: 3/12/13 / 60 MP / 31-33 / 5-2 W
2012-13, Away: 10 (10) / 3-4-3 / 2.31 / .923 / 2

Leaders, Los Angeles
Total Points: Anze Kopitar (8-17=25)
Goals: Jeff Carter (17-2=19)
Assists: Anze Kopitar (8-17=25)
Plus/Minus: Jake Muzzin (+12; 5-6=11)
Penalty Minutes: Keaton Ellerby (48*; 0-2=2)
*36 of Ellerby’s penalty minutes came as a member of the Florida Panthers.

Leaders, Phoenix
Total Points: Mikkel Boedker (6-12=18)
Goals: Shane Doan (9-17=16)
Assists: Oliver Ekman-Larsson (3-14=17)
Plus/Minus: Oliver Ekman-Larsson (+8; 3-14=17)
Penalty Minutes: Kyle Chipchura (43; 4-6=10)

A stick tap goes to: Dave Tippett. We can’t use Oliver Ekman-Larsson every game, even if he just signed a six-year, 33 million dollar contract in the time since the teams last met. Having guided his teams to the playoffs in eight of his nine years as a head coach, Tippett has led the Coyotes to an average of 101 points per season in his Phoenix tenure. Let that statistic sink in for a moment.

A fist shake goes to: Mikkel Boedker. After a 10-point February, the Dane has experienced an inconsistent March and has logged points in only one game out of his last seven: a two-goal performance in last Tuesday’s 5-2 win over L.A., his first multi-goal effort since December 29, 2011. Of course, Kings partisans who recall last year’s playoff series may have other names they’d be willing to lump together in this category.

Why the Kings need to win this game: Not to sour over a 12-5-0 stretch, but the Kings have posted a 3-3-0 record over the previous six games, and a win tonight makes both records look better. Phoenix hasn’t scored through the first two games of its roadtrip, and Jonathan Quick needs to go back to throwing some zeroes and ones on the scoreboard. This is also a home game against a divisional opponent squarely on the border of the playoff cutoff.

Rankings and Statistics
Goals/Game: LAK – t-8 / 2.96; PHX – 16 / 2.64
Goals Against/Game: LAK – 12 / 2.59; PHX – 16 / 2.68
Power Play: LAK – 12 / 19.6%; PHX – 23 / 15.7%
Penalty Kill: LAK – t-20 / 79.6%; PHX – 8 / 83.5%
Shots/Game: LAK – t-16 / 28.9; PHX – 7 / 30.4
Shots Against/Game: LAK – 2 / 24.3; PHX – 15 / 28.5
Faceoffs: LAK – t-9 / 51.0%; PHX – 3 / 52.9%
Save Percentage: LAK – 25 / .893; PHX – t-15 / .906

Projected Lines – Los Angeles

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

Jake Muzzin – Drew Doughty
Rob Scuderi – Slava Voynov
Keaton Ellerby – Alec Martinez

Jonathan Quick
Jonathan Bernier

Notes: The Kings have won nine of their last 10 home games. Los Angeles has played in 21 consecutive games without heading to overtime, the longest non-OT stretch since finishing 22 consecutive games in regulation time between January 27 and March 14, 2003. The Kings and their opponents have combined for an average of seven goals per game over the last nine games. As always, line projections are educated assessments and not definite alignments.

Projected Lines – Phoenix

Mikkel Boedker – Martin Hanzal – Lauri Korpikoski
Steve Sullivan – Antoine Vermette – Shane Doan
Kyle Chipchura – Boyd Gordon – David Moss
Raffi Torres – Matthew Lombardi – Paul Bissonnette

Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Rostislav Klesla
Keith Yandle – Derek Morris
David Schlemko – Michael Stone

Mike Smith
Jason LaBarbera

Notes: Forward and 2011-12 35-goal scorer Radim Vrbata skated after practice today (per this Mayor’s Manor photo) and is nearing a return. It won’t be tonight, as he remains on injured reserve. Defenseman Zbynek Michalek hasn’t played since blocking a shot with his foot during a penalty kill on March 9 and remains day-to-day. As always, line projections are educated assessments and not definite alignments.

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