April 1 notes: Line rushes, Colorado injuries, Vilardi's series-winner, Zlatan - LA Kings Insider

INSIDERS. A happy Easter Sunday and Passover to you. Let’s get down to business.

The Kings practiced at 10:00 a.m. at Toyota Sports Center and aligned thusly:

Gray: Pearson-Kopitar-Brown
Blue: Rieder-Carter-Toffoli
Yellow: Clifford-Kempe-Lewis-Andreoff
Purple: Thompson-Amadio-Mitchell-Rempal

Notes!

-Defensive pairings were Forbort-Doughty, Martinez-Folin, Phaneuf-LaDue and Brickley-Gravel, so there could be some movement for Monday’s big game against Colorado. In case you missed them, updates on Jake Muzzin (upper-body) and Alex Iafallo (upper-body) are here. Speaking of which, the Avs were dealt several difficult blows heading into their most important week since the end of the 2013-14 season:

If Jonathan Bernier (aka Jo. Bernier) doesn’t go on both nights, the Kings would presumably face Andrew Hammond, who turned aside 31 of 33 Philadelphia shots in a 2-1 home loss last Wednesday. Hammond has good career numbers – and was the catalyst of Ottawa’s thrilling run to close out 2014-15 – but has been a bit of a mixed bag in the AHL over that span. There’s no real travel involved, so don’t be surprised to see Bernier go twice. Let’s just see what happens tonight in Anaheim.

-More lousy blows heading into the final week of the regular season: Minnesota defenseman Ryan Suter is out indefinitely with a fractured fibula after getting tangled up along the boards with Dallas’ Remi Elie. The Wild, who are also dealing with the loss of poised defenseman Jared Spurgeon, visit the Ducks on Wednesday before their game Thursday at Staples Center. Suter had been averaging 26:46 of ice time, one second off Drew Doughty’s league-leading mark.

-Should Daniel Brickley get into a game with the Kings, he’d become the first ever player to wear #78 for the organization. Jersey numbers that have never been worn in a regular season game for Los Angeles: 59, 60, 64, 65, 66, 68, 69, 75, 78, 80, 83, 84, 86, 87, 89, 90, 91, 93, 95, 96 and 98. 41, currently worn by Sheldon Rempal, has previously been worn by Raitis Ivanans, Jason Allison, Brent Grieve and Brady Semchuk.

-Oh, hello, Gabriel:

That’s courtesy of the Ontario Hockey League. The Frontenacs will advance to face the Barrie Colts, who dispatched Jacob Moverare (4th/2016) and the defending conference champion Mississauga Steelheads in six games. Barrie (42-21-4-1) finished eight points ahead of Kingston (36-23-6-3) in the regular season. On the other side of the bracket, league favorites Sault Ste. Marie faces Owen Sound, and Kitchener faces Sarnia. Matt Villalta (3rd/2017) won all four games for the Soo, posting a 2.00 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage. Out west, Austin Strand’s (2017 Free Agent) Seattle Thunderbirds fell to Everett in five games, while Jaret Anderson-Dolan’s (2nd/2017) plus-four outing and three assists – the last of which came on Edmonton prospect Kailer Yamamoto’s goal 9:19 into overtime – sank Cole Kehler (2017 Free Agent) and the Portland Winterhawks by a 5-4 count to extend the U.S. Division rivals’ first round series. Game 6 is tomorrow night in Spokane with the Winterhawks leading the Chiefs, 3-2. Kale Clague (2nd/2016) and Moose Jaw had a rough close-out game against Prince Albert last night, falling 5-1 at home. The Raiders will host tonight’s game; Clague has a goal and an assist through five games.

-Because LA Kings Insider is your top source for world soccer news, it’s appropriate to weigh in on the events that took place at the StubHub Center yesterday afternoon. In the first-ever meeting between the LA Galaxy and LA Football Club, Zlatan Ibrahimovic helped provide one of the most important etchings in MLS history as well a major Los Angeles sports moment.

“That was crazy,” said Christian Folin, a former midfielder who made the choice to play professional hockey over professional soccer and whose father played top flight Swedish football.

“He does that everywhere he goes, though. That’s just how he is. He just loves those situations. You could tell he was really relaxed. He was on the bench, feed back, feet out, he basically reclined his seat.”

The Galaxy conceded early in the second half and trailed 3-0 before Ibrahimovic’s heroics, which served to tie and win the game.

Folin, who counted David Beckham and Thierry Henry among his favorite players on the pitch, said that in his competitive soccer years he had never scored on a 40-yard volley. He had leapt to score on several headers, “but nothing like that,” referring to the goal that put the Galaxy ahead in stoppage time.

“That first goal, I don’t know what to say,” he said. “We were jumping around in the suite. It was a pretty amazing goal.”

-For those who have signed up to take part in our pre-game chalk talk with Jim Fox tomorrow, the logistics will come in emails sent later today or tomorrow. If you’d like to join us for the chat and already have tickets to the game, email me at jonnyrosen-at-gmail-dot-com, and I’ll make sure you’re able to join us.

-Lead photo via Michael Martin/NHLI