When you end a homestand with a win, that gives a team some positive vibes as they head out on the road. The Kings not only did that, they also won the first game of their six-game trip with a shootout victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday. Now, they’ll look to do it again on Saturday night… just without a key energy guy in Jaret Anderson-Dolan.
Although the Kings recalled Rasmus Kupari from AHL Ontario, he is not expected to play tonight.
Without a morning skate, it makes projecting the lineup a tad challenging. Yet, we’re estimating things as follows:
LA Kings projected lineup vs. the Arizona Coyotes
Iafallo – Kopitar – Brown
Kempe – Vilardi – Carter
Moore – Lizotte – Grundstrom
Wagner – Amadio/Athanasiou – Luff
Anderson – Doughty
Bjornfot – Roy
Maatta – Strand
Other players available:
Martin Frk (IR)
Sean Walker (LTIR)
As of this morning, the Taxi Squad was officially listed as – Rasmus Kupari, Lias Andersson, Drake Rymsha, Boko Imama, and Troy Grosenick.
We originally had Andersson listed at 4C, reuniting the LAW line. However, he was not bumped up from the taxi squad today, so he’s not eligible to play. Meanwhile, Athanasiou was activated this morning, leaving the 4C now as a coin-flip between AA and Amadio.
Although there wasn’t a morning skate on Saturday, McLellan shared the following comments in advance of the rematch vs. Arizona:
McLellan on who will start in goal
We’ll likely see Cal back in tomorrow and give him his opportunity to go back in the pipes. I wouldn’t say we don’t have a number one, we have two number ones. Quickie has proven that again over the past two games, but it’ll be Cal’s turn to get back in there and give us a real good game.
On Blake Lizotte returning to the lineup on Thursday
A real awkward situation for him obviously, coming off the covid list and being out for so long. Right now, the league is past that opening 10 games. It’s moving fast now, there isn’t any more rust or ‘eight months off’ talk anymore. It’s full speed, so for him, Athanasiou, Roy, Walker, and everybody else, Frk when he comes back, it’s tough to get up to speed. But Lizzo’s quick, he has some tenacity to him and I think that showed. He’s got legs that put him in into the play, but he had to work hard to get back.
On if Athanasiou is close to returning
He’s getting pretty darn close, yes.
Per McLellan, JAD won't play tomorrow, for sure. Upper body injury. He might not be available for the remainder of the trip. TBD.
— John Hoven | The Mayor (@mayorNHL) February 19, 2021
— Eric (@Kingsgifs) February 19, 2021
On what he’s liked in the last three wins
First of all, the three wins were team wins, in my opinion. We needed good goaltending, we had great contributions from the back end – who seem to be settling down a little bit now – and then up front, all four lines contributed. We won a game without scoring a power play goal, that’s a good sign for us. We didn’t give up anything short-handed, found a way to win a shootout – which we hadn’t done in the past. A lot of good things in the way we’re winning. We want to get better at executing our passes cleaner. It’ll make us faster. Prime example, that six minute span in the second period, where we did the things we wanted to do positionally, but we didn’t execute a quarterback to receiver – at all. And it cost us, we ended up playing in our zone. Just clean things up, be a little crisper. Be a little more detailed on our skill work, with and without the puck. That’s what we’ll be looking for.
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