Sunday afternoon (er, early evening in Columbus) marks the first of two meetings between the Kings and Blue Jackets this season. Last year, LA swept the pair of meetings on scores of 4-3 and 2-1. Jonathan Quick was in goal for both contests and Viktor Arvidsson had a hat trick in the earlier game. Maybe that’s a precursor to today’s tilt, as the veteran goalie is expected to be back between the pipes. Additionally, Arvidsson comes in with eight points in his last eight games played — including a goal yesterday and he’s found the back of the net five times over that recent stretch.
Most NHL coaches don’t like to make lineup changes coming off a win, so it will be interesting to see what Todd McLellan opts to do with his defense. Will 36-year-old Alex Edler get the night off? If so, look for Toby Bjornfot to slide in on the blueline.
Perhaps the more important name to watch in this game will be wearing a Columbus jersey. Defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov could be on the market soon. A pending free agent next summer, the 27-year-old Russian native could be an attractive option should the Kings opt to seek a left-handed blueliner in a trade, as early as next month. In 230 NHL games played for the Blue Jackets, Gavrikov has established himself on their top-pairing logging around 25 minutes a night.
LA Kings Projected Lineup vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
Fiala – Kopitar – Kaliyev
Moore – Danault – Arvidsson
Iafallo – Kempe – Vilardi
JAD – Lizotte – Grundstrom
Durzi – Roy
Edler / Bjornfot – Walker
Late update: Doughty out with a lower-body injury
Scratches: Björnfot, Fagemo
Injured Reserve: Lemieux (targeting mid-December)
Additional Game Notes
Puck drop is set for 3:00pm PST and will be televised by Bally Sports West.
Last time out, Columbus toppled the visiting Calgary Flames 3-1 on Friday.
Here’s how the Blue Jackets are expected to lineup vs. the Kings:
Elvis in net 🥅
— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) December 11, 2022
Lineup image created by ALo Images
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