Game 28 Preview: Phoenix at Los Angeles - LA Kings Insider

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.

Rules for Blog Commenting
  • - No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • - Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other commenters, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • - Please do not discuss, or post links to, websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.
Jake Muzzin

#6 | 6′ 3″ | 216 lb | Age: 27

Born: Feb 21, 1989
Birthplace: Woodstock, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Left


Muzzin was drafted in 2007 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, before signing to the Kings in 2010. He has since become the first Woodstock, Ontario professional athlete to win a major sports trophy.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.