Buckle up, it’s going to be a sprint to the finish.
With 18 games remaining in this year’s regular season, the LA Kings are in control of their own playoff destiny. Other teams losing can help their case, yet it isn’t actually needed. If the Kings can just win their fair share of games they will qualify for postseason play for the first time in four seasons. Playing just .500 hockey would give them 94 points. It likely won’t take much more to get in.
Of course, injuries will be a key part of the storyline moving forward. And, as expected, a few players are starting to work their way back to at least skating with the team.
Lemieux also on the ice in red
ICYMI — we broke down all the injury timelines on today's @kingsofthepod
— The Mayor | John Hoven (@mayorNHL) March 22, 2022
We broke down each individual situation surrounding Drew Doughty, Dustin Brown, Viktor Arvidsson, Mikey Anderson, Matt Roy, and Brendan Lemieux in an all new Kings Of The Podcast earlier this morning.
What does all of this mean for tonight?
For starters, newly acquired Troy Stecher will be making his Kings debut wearing No. 51.
Newly acquired defenseman Troy Stecher will wear No. 51.
Seven players have previously worn it for the LA Kings…
Austin Wagner pic.twitter.com/JBucRb9tTl
— The Mayor | John Hoven (@mayorNHL) March 21, 2022
LA KINGS PROJECTED LINEUP vs. NASHVILLE PREDATORS
Iafallo – Kopitar – Kempe
Moore – Danault – Kaliyev
Kupari – Byfield – Vilardi
Grundstrom – Lizotte – Andersson
Other options: N/A
IR: Arvidsson, Brown, Lemieux
Moverare – Durzi
Edler – Stecher
Maatta – Spence
Other options: Strand
IR: Anderson, Doughty, Roy
KINGS DAILY QUESTION
VIEW FROM THE OTHER SIDE
Nashville forward Filip Forsberg broke the team’s single-season goals record with a five-point game (2G, 3A) during a 6-3 win over the Ducks on Monday night.
With 77 points in 61 games, defenseman Roman Josi is on pace for a 100-point season. If he reaches the century mark, it will be the first time a blueliner has done it since Brian Leetch during the 1991-92 season.
In Anaheim, the Preds used the following lineup.
Projected #Preds lineup in Anaheim:
— Brooks Bratten (@brooksbratten) March 22, 2022
Scratches were: Mattias Ekholm (day-to-day), Ben Harpur and Matt Luff. From what we’ve heard, Luff will be scratched again vs. LA.
KINGS MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
Anze Kopitar — needs 19 points to pass Dave Taylor for third on the Kings all-time scoring list
Dustin Brown — 4 goals away from passing Bernie Nicholls for fifth place in Kings franchise history
Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30pm PST today and the game will be televised on ESPN+ (not Bally Sports Network).
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