Is there anything more Kings-Flyers than the idea of Brendan Lemieux tangling with a Philadelphia player or two? Yeah, probably not.
To ring in 2022, the Kings first opponent of the new year will have a familiar feel to it. The Flyers last played in Los Angeles on New Year’s Eve 2019. Two years later, they’ll rematch with a significantly different Kings lineup.
During their last visit to Downtown LA, the Flyers were bested by the Kings 5-3, with goals by Tyler Toffoli, Martin Frk, Kyle Clifford, Alex Iafallo, and Adrian Kempe. Only the latter two will be involved in tonight’s tilt.
On paper, this is a game the Kings could win easily. Philly is 25th in the NHL in scoring (2.6 goals per game), while the Kings defense (2.7 goals against) ranks eighth in the NHL. Further, despite the Kings not scoring much on most nights, they’ll be facing a Flyers group ranked 20th in team defense.
Back to Lemieux for a little tidbit — he has one goal in 11 previous games played against the Flyers. Meanwhile, Kempe has three goals in six games.
In 14 career starts vs. Philadelphia, Jonathan Quick is 10-3-1 with a 1.70 goals against average and .944 save percentage.
LA KINGS PROJECTED LINEUP vs. PHILADEPHIA FLYERS on 1/1
Iafallo – Kopitar – Kempe
Moore – Danault – Arvidsson
Grundstrom – Turcotte – Kupari
Lemieux – Lizotte – Kaliyev
Other options: Andersson
Anderson – Doughty
Wolanin – Roy
Bjornfot – Durzi
Other options: Moverare
On the Philadelphia side of things:
Lineup Update: Martin Jones will get the start tonight vs. the Kings. Kevin Connauton will draw into the lineup. Nick Seeler will come out. #PHIvsLAK pic.twitter.com/KlHpCJJfYA
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) January 1, 2022
Flyers projected lineup:
van Riemsdyk – Giroux – Atkinson
Willman – Hayes – Farabee
Lindblom – Frost – Konecny
Cates – Brown – MacEwen
Provorov – Braun
Sanheim – Ristolainen
Yandle – Connauton
KINGS MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
Anze Kopitar – needs 42 points to pass Dave Taylor for third on the Kings all-time scoring list
Dustin Brown — 8 goals away from passing Bernie Nicholls for fifth place in Kings franchise history
Drew Doughty — 12 games away from playing in his 1,000th NHL regular season game
Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 pm PST tonight and the game will be on Bally Sports Network.
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