With an optional morning skate in advance of Saturday night’s Kings-Lightning game, perhaps the most intriguing lineup observation is what’s expected in net.
Coach Todd McLellan is expected to once again turn to Jonathan Quick as his starting goaltender. Coming off a year in which he silenced any critics last season, the veteran netminder has struggled at times this year. His last win came December 1 against Arizona. In fairness, Quick’s last two appearances have come in relief of Pheonix Copley, so the likely goaltending rotation has been thrown off a little over the last week or so. Then again, in 8 of his last 10 appearances, Quick has a sub .900 save performance.
Specifically against the Lightning, Quick has a career .919 save percentage. That’s his fourth-best against any Eastern Conference team he’s faced at least 15 times. He also scored a win against Tampa Bay earlier this season, giving up just two goals when the clubs last met in Los Angeles this past October.
This game won’t be easy by any stretch, though. The Kings are taking on a Lightning team who are 7-3-0 in their most recent 10 games overall, yet have won 11 straight on home ice, where they are 19-4-1. In his career, Quick is 7-5-3 with a .919 save percentage.
As for LA’s fourth line, from the sound of what McLellan was saying last night, it sounds like he’ll be leaving that line as is:
McLellan on Turcotte and Kupari… pic.twitter.com/WcWUzBV489
— The Mayor | Team MM (@mayorNHL) January 28, 2023
Defensively, we’re expecting Alex Edler to replace Toby Bjornfot. However, that isn’t confirmed.
LA Kings Projected Lineup vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
Byfield – Kopitar – Kempe
Iafallo – Danault – Arvidsson
Fiala – Lizotte – JAD
Kupari – Turcotte – Fagemo
Anderson – Doughty
Durzi – Roy
Edler – Walker
Likely Scratches: Bjornfot, Lemieux
Injured, although not yet on IR: Vilardi (out day-to-day, returned to LA for evaluation)
Injured Reserve: Grundstrom (Jan. 19), Moore (Jan. 6), Kaliyev (retro to Dec. 20, expected out several weeks)
Additional Game Info
Puck drop is set for 4:00 pm PST and will be televised by Bally Sports.
In their last game played, the Lightning took down the Boston Bruins 3-2 on Thursday.
Here’s how they went into that contest:
#GoBolts morning skate lines/combos ahead of tonight’s game vs Boston Hagel-Point-Kucherov
— Lightning Insider (@Erik_Erlendsson) January 26, 2023
Also worth watching:
Point missed a couple of shifts last night, only took one faceoff all game, something to keep an eye on heading into tomorrow's game vs LA; fortunately the team is off for nine days after Saturday https://t.co/yBWVxKU9ZY
— Lightning Insider (@Erik_Erlendsson) January 27, 2023
Lineup image created by ALo Images
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