Good afternoon from Toyota Sports Center, Insiders. Later today, the Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks will meet at Staples Center for the third of four meetings between the clubs (7:00 p.m. / FOX Sports West / FOX Sports GO / HNIC / KABC 790 / I Heart Radio). Note the earlier start time, which as Darryl Sutter would say, comes at seven bells. Earlier today the Kings held a morning skate and aligned as such:
-Neither Jordan Nolan nor Nick Shore skated this morning; as noted yesterday, both players are listed as “day-to-day as of now,” but that could change. Shore’s arm was in a sling yesterday, and he will continue to be evaluated. Ben Bishop was the first goaltender to leave the ice and is expected to start in net against the Canucks.
-Adrian Kempe could see some shifts at center tonight – he skated with Andy Andreoff, who was to his left but has more experience down the center of the ice at the NHL level – and spoke of the difference between playing center in the NHL and at other levels: “Obviously it’s a lot more physical down low in the D-zone. Those things, that’s an important thing. If you’re playing center, you’ve got to play hard, and it’s a big responsibility in your own zone. That’s got to be the thing I’ve got to do tonight – I’ve just got to keep playing my game and use my speed as much as possible in the middle.” Story coming.
-Dustin Brown is still sporting a welt near his left eye as the result of the nasty collision from the third period Monday night in Minnesota, after which he skated slowly back to the bench and was checked out by Chris Kingsley. “If you’re going to give it out, you’ve got to take ‘em every once in a while,” he said. Asked whether there was anything to be cognizant of when playing this particular Vancouver team – a team Los Angeles hasn’t faced since late December – Brown said, “There’s a lot of fresh blood. They’re a younger team, and there are a lot of players that you don’t know as well that are having good seasons for them, so it’s just being aware of them. You can’t take a team like this too lightly. Like I said, there’s a lot of young blood, so they’re hungry to make an impression. They’re still kind of there, so you’ve just got to be ready for their players, really.”
-Speaking of the Canucks, they rolled the following lines at today’s skate, according to Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province: D. Sedin-H.Sedin-Granlund, Baertschi-Horvat-Eriksson, Goldobin-Sutter-Megna and Gaunce-Chaput-Cramarossa. Christopher Tanev did not skate today but is expected to play, while Ryan Miller will start in goal.
-Tonight’s officials are referees Jon McIsaac and Francis Charron, and linesmen Darren Gibbs and Bryan Pancich. The anthem will be performed by Who’s Your Daddy. Seven bells, Insiders. Let’s talk soon.
Morning skate photos, courtesy of Jon Bradley: