Good morning from El Segundo, Insiders. The LA Kings took the ice for a morning skate in advance of tonight’s game at Anaheim (7:00 p.m. / Prime Ticket / I Heart Radio) and indicated that they’ll be going with a young preseason lineup.
Line notes shared at Anaheim’s skate depicted a group that should include Kyle Clifford, Alex Iafallo, Emerson Etem, Sheldon Rempal, Drake Rymsha, Nate Thompson, Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Austin Wagner, Michael Amadio, Boko Imama, Matt Luff and Tanner Pearson up front and a defensive group of Dion Phaneuf, Oscar Fantenberg, Kale Clague, Paul LaDue, Kurtis MacDermid and Daniel Brickley on the back end. Jack Campbell was the first goalie off the ice and will expected to go the distance in net. Cal Petersen should back him up.
Rempal, Rymsha, Imama and Luff were officially recalled shortly after the morning skate, so this group looks correct, in case you were scratching your goatee and wiping the fog off your monocle. Adrian Kempe was also among those to leave the ice early, so it’s possible he could get into tonight’s game, too. Lines and pairings moved around a bit at today’s skate, so it’s a bit early to project who will play with whom. Anderson-Dolan centered Thompson and Wagner, while Amadio centered Pearson and Luff. Wait for the song, as they say.
The young group was necessitated in part because of the condensed schedule this week, as well as to provide the coaching staff additional options in the event that key players aren’t available at certain times in the season. And when the game group left the ice, the team still got good work in with their more established veterans and was able to instill additional detail with their top power play unit.
“You’ve got to look at the schedule,” John Stevens said. “It’s got its challenges with the double games on two different days and traveling to different cities and then a four-in-six with a back-to-back to finish up. I thought that game in Utah was a really important game for our team, and now it’s just making sure that we get the work we need. I thought today was a good opportunity to get extensive work with our first power play unit, and now at the same time, it’s a big evaluation for some of our young players. Sometimes you get guys in your lineup when Kopi’s not playing or main guys aren’t playing, Drew’s not playing, now they’re first over the boards in those situations. They’ve got to play against Getzlaf. We’re really excited to see what they can do when they’re the primary guys in those situations and still have enough leadership – s which we feel good about – … in our lineup that can lead the way for these young guys. It’s a good opportunity for guys that have experience to be the primary guys, and it’s a good opportunity for the younger guys to get another game to show us what they can do.”
Derek Forbort (back) skated as a full participant alongside Drew Doughty and expressed confidence that he’d be able to get into at least one of the final two preseason games. Los Angeles closes its exhibition slate at Vegas on Friday and versus Anaheim on Saturday.
Ryan Miller is projected to start for the Ducks, who should play most of their regulars. That won’t include Corey Perry, the team announced Wednesday.
Corey Perry will be lost for an expected five months after undergoing surgery to repair meniscus and MCL in right knee. Knee, which had prior issues, popped during warm-up. GM Bob Murray said the hope is that he'll return by trade deadline.
— Eric Stephens (@icemancometh) September 26, 2018
-Lead photo via Adam Pantozzi/NHLI