Kings head coach Todd McLellan had a fairly simple message after LA’s 2-0 defeat in Edmonton on Thursday night, “Next guy up, let’s go!” They find themselves with seven games remaining in the regular season and potentially playing without one of their top scorers (Gabe Vilardi) and one of their top defensemen (Mikey Anderson). The Kevin Fiala situation appears to be a little more positive, as he skated this morning and is expected to return soon — perhaps as early as tonight. All three individuals would be sorely missed if their injuries roll into the postseason. However, this doesn’t seem to affect the mindset of McLellan or his club. After all, McLellan pointed out this team should be poised and prepared to go through injuries because they did it all of last season.
With Anderson going down with an upper-body injury, there will be some sort of shakeup with the defensive pairs. Tobias Bjornfot was summoned from Ontario yesterday via an emergency recall, so he is an option to draw in — especially since the Kings are in a back-to-back situation. Recently acquired Vladislav Gavrikov may step up into that top defenseman role for now and Sean Walker will likely draw back into the lineup to round out the third pairing.
LA’s depth will be tested down the stretch and they’ll need scoring contributions from up and down the lineup. Sitting one point behind Edmonton and three points behind Vegas, every point matters that much more in these final seven games.
LA Kings Projected Lineup vs. Seattle Kraken
Byfield – Kopitar – Kempe
Fiala – Danault – Arvidsson
Iafallo – Lizotte – Moore
Grundstrom – Kupari – Kaliyev
Gavrikov – Doughty
Durzi – Roy
Edler – Walker
Scratches: Anderson, Anderson-Dolan, Bjornfot, Vilardi, MacEwen
Key Game Info
Puck drop is set for 7:00 pm PST and will be televised by Bally Sports.
Across the Ice
In their last contest, the Kraken defeated the Ducks by a final of 4-1 on Thursday night.
Here’s how Seattle lined up to start that one:
starting on this beautiful thursday in seattle sports ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/36i7rygJGY
— Seattle Kraken (@SeattleKraken) March 31, 2023
On This Day in Kings History
On April 1, 1989, Bernie Nicholls set an @LAKings' record when he scored his 70th goal of the season in a 6-4 win versus Vancouver. Nicholls recorded his 14th career hat trick and 150th point of the season in the home finale at the Great Western Forum.#LAKings #GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/EH3wbYetQr
— The Kingstorian (@Kingstorian) April 1, 2023
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