For the final two regular season games at home, the LA Kings will be wearing their 90s inspired white alternate jerseys and chrome helmets. Greeting them at the other end of the ice on Saturday will be the defending Stanley Cup Champion Colorado Avalanche.
LA is looking to bounce back after a disappointing two games against the Oilers and Golden Knights, with just three total games remaining on their schedule. Even though they do have a playoff spot secured, coach Todd McLellan and crew would certainly like to bring some sort of momentum into the playoffs. In their more immediate path, though, the Kings will face a Stanley Cup-caliber team for the third straight game.
Some positive #GoKingsGo news to pass along…
Sounds like defenseman Mikey Anderson will be back soon. May not play tomorrow night, yet should return in one of the final three regular season games.
— The Mayor | Team MM (@mayorNHL) April 7, 2023
As reported by John Hoven on Friday, Mikey Anderson is expected back soon — just not likely in time for Saturday night’s contest. Additionally, Kevin Fiala, Gabe Vilardi, and Alex Edler are still sidelined, as well. Fiala could potentially get at least one tune-up game in prior to the postseason beginning in about 10 days. It’s a fluid situation that will continue to evolve, even though the news on Vilardi hasn’t been quite as positive.
If the Kings are going to find any sort of success over their final stretch, the offense has to pick it up. McLellan shuffled line combinations in Vegas on Thursday to see if that could get anything going, to no avail. Inconsistency would be a word to describe LA’s offense over the past couple of weeks; something they will need to figure out if they have hopes of making a deep playoff run.
To that end, McLellan may opt to take another look at Quinton Byfield as the third-line center, as he did the other night. In that scenario, Arthur Kaliyev was pushed up to the top line. One other option to look out for is the potential addition of Jaret Anderson-Dolan into the lineup. He’s a versatile forward capable of playing center or wing. Although he’s seen action in 44 games this year, JAD hasn’t suited up in two weeks. Getting him a game before the postseason wouldn’t be a bad idea to keep him fresh. In an interesting statistical note, he has 7 goals in those 44 games. By comparison, Trevor Moore has 9 goals in 56 games.
Additionally, Jordan Spence is a good bet to draw in on the third defensive pair. He could provide some offensive punch from the blue line and a little extra something on the power play. Still just 22 years old and and a second-year pro, Spence has put up 42 points in 53 games with AHL Ontario this season.
Pheonix Copley is expected to get the start in goal tonight. Although there is still not a clear candidate for McLellan’s playoff starter, Copley may slowly be earning the edge over Joonas Korpisalo.
Beginning Monday, the Kings roster will feature one of their brightest offensive prospects. More on that situation can be found here:
Kings Prospect Alex Laferriere on Burning the Frist Year Off His ELC and Reasons For Turning Pro Now
LA Kings Projected Lineup vs. Colorado Avalanche
Byfield – Kopitar – Kempe
Moore – Danault – Arvidsson
Iafallo – Lizotte – Kaliyev
JAD – Kupari – Grundstrom
Gavrikov – Doughty
Durzi – Roy
Walker – Spence
Likely scratches: Anderson, Bjornfot, Edler (upper body), Fiala (lower body), MacEwen, Vilardi
Key Game Info
Puck drop is set for 7:30 pm PST and will be televised by Bally Sports.
For those live in attendance, the LA Kings Booster Club will offer their popular ‘Puck for a Buck’ contest — featuring Viktor Arvidsson for this game. Just $1 could win you an autographed puck from an NHL star. Visit their table near aisle M8 on the main concourse for more information.
Across the Ice
In their last contest, the Avalanche defeated the Sharks by a score of 6-2 on Thursday night.
They’re expected to be without Gabriel Landeskog, Cale Makar, and Josh Manson (all have lower body injuries) for tonight’s matchup in LA.
Here’s how Colorado lined up for their last game:
Game #️⃣7️⃣7️⃣#GoAvsGo pic.twitter.com/plhkeQviSX
— x – Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) April 7, 2023
On This Day in Kings History
On April 8, 1990, Tony Granato became the first player in @LAKings' history to score a shorthanded overtime goal in a playoff game. The 2-1 win in Game 3 gave the #LAKings a 2-1 series lead against the Calgary Flames in the Smythe Division Semifinals.#GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/0BP8mrCHS0
— The Kingstorian (@Kingstorian) April 8, 2023
NHL RADIO REPLAY: Mayor’s Minutes – Hoven on Fiala, Clarke, and Potential Kings Playoff Matchups
Checking in with Cal: Petersen’s Thoughts on Playoffs, Positioning, and Preparation
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