When Adrian Kempe was pulled from the Kings lineup last weekend for protocol reasons, things didn’t look good. He was the team’s leading scorer and a primary driver on an already weak power play. Fast forward to today, the Kings are now riding a three-game losing streak.
Even so, on a points percentage basis they’re sitting third in the Pacific Division, behind Vegas and Calgary – with Anaheim and Edmonton nipping at their heels. For the next six games, LA will be facing all Eastern Conference teams, a collective group they’ve largely performed well against this season. Although they lack any real momentum going into this road trip, the Kings received a shot in the arm earlier this week when top prospect Quinton Byfield joined the big club after spending 11 games with AHL Ontario following breaking his ankle near the end of training camp. Byfield is expected to solidify the middle spot on LA’s third line moving forward.
Today, coach Todd McLellan will also receive another encouraging boost. Kempe is believed to be returning, following his recent stint in protocol. On the season, Kempe has 24 points (17G, 7A) in 38 games played. Specifically against New Jersey, Kempe has four goals in seven career games.
LA KINGS PROJECTED LINEUP vs. NEW JERSEY DEVILS on 1/23
Iafallo – Kopitar – Kempe
Moore – Danault – Arvidsson
Grundstrom – Byfield – Brown
Lemieux – Lizotte – Kaliyev
Other options: Kupari
IR: Andersson, Athanasiou
Taxi Squad: Fagemo, Turcotte
Anderson – Doughty
Maatta – Roy
Bjornfot – Durzi
Other options: Strand
Taxi Squad: Wolanin
On the New Jersey side of things:
Last night, the Devils rolled to a 7-4 victory at home over the Carolina Hurricanes.
— CapFriendly Depth Charts (@CF_DepthCharts) January 22, 2022
KINGS MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
Anze Kopitar – needs 34 points to pass Dave Taylor for third on the Kings all-time scoring list
Dustin Brown — 6 goals away from passing Bernie Nicholls for fifth place in Kings franchise history
Drew Doughty — 3 games away from playing in his 1,000th NHL regular season game
Puck drop is scheduled for 4pm PST tonight and the game will be televised on Bally Sports West.
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