Game 38 Preview: Edmonton at Los Angeles - LA Kings Insider

Los Angeles Projected Starting Goaltender – Jonathan Quick
Season: 28 GP (27 GS) / 12-11-3 / 2.54 GAA / .896 Sv% / 1 SHO
Career vs Edmonton: 13 (13) / 8-1-4 / 1.58 / .939 / 1
Last Game vs Edmonton: 2/19/13 / 60 MP / 23-24 shots / 3-1 W
2012-13, Home: 12 (11) / 7-4-1 / 1.87 / .908 / 1

Edmonton Projected Starting Goaltender – Devan Dubnyk
Season: 30 (29) / 12-10-6 / 2.50 / .922 / 2
Career vs Los Angeles: 6 (6) / 3-2-1 / 2.09 / .933 / 0
Last Game vs Los Angeles: 1/24/13 / 61 MP / 30-31 shots / 2-1 OTW
2012-13, Away: 16 (16) / 6-7-2 / 2.34 / .928 / 1

Los Angeles Leaders
Total Points: Anze Kopitar (10-23=33)
Goals: Jeff Carter (21-4=25)
Assists: Anze Kopitar (10-23=33)
Plus/Minus: Justin Williams (+18; 10-17=27)
Penalty Minutes: Keaton Ellerby (50*; 0-3=3)
*36 of Ellerby’s penalty Minutes came as a member of the Florida Panthers.

Edmonton Leaders
Total Points: Taylor Hall (13-28=41)
Goals: Sam Gagner (14-19=33)
Assists: Taylor Hall (13-28=41)
Plus/Minus: Taylor Hall (+5; 13-28=41)
Penalty Minutes: Mike Brown (114*; 1-1=2)
*70 of Brown’s penalty minutes came as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs

A stick tap goes to: A moderate step forward. Barring a late-season slump and a major ping pong ball coup, the Oilers won’t be picking first again in the NHL draft this year. Of the three previous number-one picks, Taylor Hall has made the awaited leap, ranking seventh in the league with 41 points and tied for fifth with 28 assists. In an 82-game season – which should come with an asterisk, as Hall missed a total of 48 games in each of his first two years – he would be on pace for 99 points. In net, 6-foot-5 Devan Dubnyk has handled the rigors of a number goaltender remarkably well and has lowered his goals against average every season he has been in the league.

A fist shake goes to: A lack of sandpaper in Edmonton’s top six. There are no Anze Kopitars or Mike Richards on this Oilers team. Really, there are no Anze Kopitars anywhere else around the NHL, but in terms of jam and defensive acumen in the top-six, they are still a work in progress. As outstanding as their third-ranked power play has been, they still allow the third-most shots and have the worst faceoff percentage in the NHL. Make Edmonton play five-on-five.

Why the Kings need to win this game: The Kings are battling for home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs, which could be a major factor if they end up in a matchup against San Jose. On the other hand, they’re one bad week away from being right on the precipice of the playoff bubble. They’ll be facing a desperate bubble team today, one that had won five in a row prior to Thursday’s loss in Vancouver.

Rankings and Statistics
Goals/Game: LAK – t-7 / 2.86; EDM – 17 / 2.62
Goals Against/Game: LAK – 8 / 2.40; EDM – 16 / 2.68
Power Play: LAK – 12 / 18.8%; EDM – 3 / 23.1%
Penalty Kill: LAK – 13 / 81.8%; EDM – 8 / 84.3%
Shots/Game: LAK – 12 / 29.7; EDM – 25 / 27.1
Shots Against/Game: LAK – 1 / 24.4; EDM – 28 / 32.5
Faceoffs: LAK – 9 / 51.2%; EDM – 30 / 45.6%
Save Percentage: LAK – 20 / .902; EDM – 6 / .918

Projected Lines – Los Angeles

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

Jake Muzzin – Drew Doughty
Rob Scuderi – Slava Voynov
Robyn Regehr – Keaton Ellerby

Jonathan Quick
Jonathan Bernier

Notes: Robyn Regehr saw increased time with Drew Doughty as Thursday’s game progressed. Considering Darryl Sutter’s comments about not wanting to disrupt the Muzzin-Doughty chemistry, until Regehr and Doughty skate together on their first shifts, I’m not adjusting the above pairings. Brad Richardson and Dwight King have been interchangeable as third and fourth line left wings; Richardson could also see time at center. Justin Williams has goals in five straight games and six goals total. As always, line projections are educated assessments and not definite alignments.

Projected Lines – Edmonton

Taylor Hall – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Jordan Eberle
Magnus Paajarvi – Sam Gagner – Ales Hemsky
Ryan Jones – Shawn Horcoff – Nail Yakupov
Ryan Smyth – Jerred Smithson – Mike Brown

Nick Schultz – Justin Schultz
Ladislav Smid – Jeff Petry
Ryan Whitney – Corey Potter

Notes: It is unclear whether newly acquired center Jerred Smithson will be in the lineup; if he is unable to go, Ryan Smyth would likely center the fourth line with Lennart Petrell to his left. Taylor Hall has 14 points and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has 10 points over the last six games. The Oilers are 6-2-1 in their last nine games in Los Angeles, though five of the six wins came in shootouts. As always, line projections are educated assessments and not definite alignments.

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

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.

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.