Good afternoon from the team hotel in Fort Lauderdale, roughly half an hour west of the BB&T Center. The Kings didn’t hold traditional line rushes, but rather line rush-type drills that included groups of three and four skating up and down the ice. There was no change from yesterday’s alignment:
Gaborik – Kopitar – Brown
King – Carter – Toffoli
Clifford – Stoll – Williams
Lewis – Andreoff – Shore – Nolan
Muzzin – Doughty
Martinez – Greene
Regehr – McBain
-It was a brisk morning skate. The Zamboni left the ice, the players stretched, were called together by Darryl Sutter, skated north-south in the aforementioned line rush-type drill, handled pucks, took shots on goaltenders, and as some players remained on the ice for some skill work, others left the ice. All players headed to the dressing room at relatively the same time, so it’s not entirely clear whether Andy Andreoff or Nick Shore will center the fourth line. I’m inclined to believe that it’ll be Shore. Jonathan Quick left the ice before Martin Jones, so he’ll likely start in net.
-Jamie McBain is set to make his return to the lineup, as Darryl Sutter indicated. “I understand that it’s a part of the game. It’s part of everything that’s going to happen,” McBain said of his nine-game absence. “All you can do is wait for your name to be put back up on the board again and work hard in practice and make sure you’re staying sharp, staying on top of your game so that whenever your name is called again, you’re ready to go.” Brayden McNabb is likely the odd-man out on the blue line; story to come.
-Willie Mitchell is not expected to play tonight. Coach Gerard Gallant said the Panthers captain is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Steven Kampfer has been recalled from AHL-San Antonio. Roberto Luongo will start in net. Via George Richards, who you should follow on Twitter, Sean Bergenheim and Shawn Thornton will be tonight’s scratches.
-Puck Daddy editor Greg Wyshynski ranked the top 10 rivalries in the NHL, and the Kings featured in three of them.
-I joined SiriusXM NHL this morning (audio coming) and will be joining Jason Strudwick of TSN 1260 Edmonton at
11:15 a.m. PT. 8:20 p.m. PT (via tape delay). Click here for the live stream. I’ll also be jumping on the NHL Network’s Arena Cam at 3:15 p.m. PT to talk Kings and preview tonight’s game, for those interested.