New Jersey Devils at LA Kings – what to watch for

LA comes into the game with a 5-1-1 record, including wins in four straight and both of their games at Staples Center this season.

New Jersey is 3-2-1, splitting the two games they’ve played on the road.

Here are some things to watch for tonight…

- Goaltending: The Devils lost future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur when these two teams met up a few weeks ago. Johan Hedberg will fill in for New Jersey. He has a 2.24 goals-against average and .923 save percentage in five games played. The Kings will counter will Jonathan Bernier, making just his second start of the season. Terry Murray explained why he’s resting Jonathan Quick in an article here.

- Dustin Penner: Contract year. Those two words alone should equal plenty of points. So far, they don’t. In five games played – well, four and some change, considering he sat out of most of the game in Philly after a first period fight – he has one lonely assist to show for his efforts. All of LA’s other top-six forwards have at least one goal and four points.

- Ilya Kovalchuk: Until he retires, he’ll probably be the one player to never wear a Kings jersey who will forever be linked to the Kings franchise. GM Dean Lombardi’s pursuit of the Russian sniper didn’t end well last summer and it left a bad taste in the mouth of many people. Ultimately, it may have worked out better for LA. However, he’s not expected to get a warm welcome by the home crowd tonight. Kovalchuk was also credited with the game winner when the Kings and Devils met in third game of the season.

Game time is 7:30pm PST.

As usual, we will be running our first goal contest tonight too. If you’d like a chance at winning a free t-shirt from Glass Bangers, simply reply below with the name of the Kings player you think will score the first goal for LA tonight.

Entering is easy, you can even use your facebook profile.

The Mayor
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