Right on schedule, Kings forward Brendan Lemieux has been activated and is available to play on Thursday night vs. Calgary. His estimated return date had been targeted for mid-late December. He’s missed the past 20 games while recovering from an injury. Now, will he actually play tonight? That remains to be seen; even though players aren’t usually activated and then immediately scratched.
One thing is fairly certain, unlike the recent returns of Alex Iafallo and Viktor Arvidsson, there isn’t much question as to where Kings coach Todd McLellan will eventually insert Lemieux back into the lineup — any spot other than LW4 would be quite the shocker.
As a team, McLellan and the Kings are riding a three-game win streak and are preparing for back-to-back games before the league’s annual Christmas break. First up will be the Flames at home, followed by a quick trip to Arizona vs. the Coyotes on Friday.
The addition of Lemieux brings the active roster to the maximum 23 players. Thus, when Quinton Byfield eventually returns, somebody will need to go back to Ontario (and it could even require waivers). That’s not happening until at least next week, though, as explained here:
LA Kings Projected Lineup vs. Calgary Flames
Fiala – Kopitar – Kempe
Iafallo – Danault – Moore
Arvidsson – Lizotte – Vilardi
Lemieux – Kupari – Kaliyev
Anderson – Doughty
Durzi – Roy
Edler – Spence / Walker
Scratches: Grundstrom, JAD, Spence
Additional Game Notes
Puck drop is set for 7:30pm PST and will be televised by Bally Sports West.
In Calgary’s last game played, they gobbled up the Sharks 7-3 in San Jose on Tuesday.
Here’s how the Flames lined up for that one:
#Flames in pre-game warmup in San Jose …
— Wes Gilbertson (@WesGilbertson) December 21, 2022
Goalie Dan Vladar is expected to start vs. the Kings. It will be his first game action since December 10.
Lineup image created by ALo Images
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