Campbell to start, no other lineup changes expected tonight versus Vegas - LA Kings Insider

LA Kings Head Coach Willie Desjardins addressed the media prior to tonight’s game in Las Vegas. Desjardins confirmed that Jack Campbell will make his return to the lineup this evening. Campbell has a 5-7-0 record, a 2.33 goals-against-average, a .923 save percentage and one shutout in NHL action this season, before he was injured on November 10. The goaltender most recently appeared in two AHL games with the Ontario Reign, posting a 1-1-0 record. Campbell is Ontario’s all-time leader in appearances by a goaltender (80) and helped lead the team to a victory over San Diego on December 22.

Desjardins also noted that he does not expect any sort of changes to tonight’s lineup, other than in net, provided there are no tweaks, injury-wise during warmups. For reference, here’s how the Kings lined up last night in Colorado:

Iafallo – Kopitar – Brown
Kovalchuk – Carter – Toffoli
Leipsic – Kempe – Luff
Wagner – Thompson – Clifford

Forbort – Doughty
Muzzin – Walker
Phaneuf – Fantenberg


Willie Desjardins on what he’s looking to carryover from last night’s game, with the back-to-back tonight
Well, they’re similar teams really, Vegas is a quick team as well, so we’ve got to make sure we stay above a little bit. We’ve been pretty consistent, our starts have been pretty good, I think in the third, we were up a couple and we sat back a little bit. We have to do a little better job, if we have a lead, we’ve got to get up and pressure a little bit.

On lineup changes and whether he liked Kovalchuk on the Carter line and Kempe back at center
I think Kempe’s a centerman, so I just wanted to get him back into the middle. I thought, the way we were at that time, we wanted to try to get two lines that I thought could produce against anybody, so that’s why I moved Kempe up. We’ve got a little bit more depth in our lineup coming back in now, so I just thought we could do that. I thought Kempe was good in the middle.

On changes to be made from the loss against Vegas on December 29
The second period. We had a good first period against these guys last game and we had a good third period, but our second period wasn’t good enough, we got behind on it. I think they did a good job through the neutral zone, we have to be better through the neutral zone and last night, we thought we won it because of our specialty teams and that night we weren’t quite as good, so we’ve got to be good on specialty teams tonight.

On playing a team so often in such a short timespan and whether it provides any sort of advantage as a coach
I think the key in coaching is whatever happens, you have to try to make it work to your advantage. There’s kind of no sense in looking at the things that don’t work, because they’re there anyways, so you have to find things that do work. We’re familiar with them, we know what they’re going to do, I think that helps us. We’ve just been in here, so we know this crowd is going to be loud tonight, you know, there’s things like that we can take away. Saying that, they’re a good team and it’s always tough when you play good teams.

On Kempe’s progress in the faceoff circle
I think if you look at his results, that would indicate he needs to be a little better in that area and that does put a little difference and that’s why Thommy goes out sometimes. Thompson’s been good on the draws, so lots of times I have to move him and he goes with different lines too, he goes with the Carter line sometimes and takes the draws on the left side. He’s been good, he’s been versatile for us. Kempe does probably have to get a little better in that area.

On if the team’s emotion was any different last night than it was in the last game against Vegas
We need to play with emotion if we’re going to be successful. I liked our emotion the last 20 games – there’s been a couple of games that got away on us, but overall, our guys are pretty dialed in and there’s no reason we shouldn’t be tonight again.

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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.