The reigning Stanley Cup Champion Golden Knights will host the LA Kings on Wednesday night in Las Vegas. Although Los Angeles fancies themselves as a potential 2024 Cup contender, it’s far too early to build that hype train. After all, it’s only the fourth preseason game and it’s still September. Next year’s playoffs are still more than six months down the road.
With coach Todd McLellan and the group of players who were recently in Australia still adjusting to life back in North America, tonight’s roster will look similar to the team who played in Anaheim on Sunday night, with one notable exception – top prospect Brandt Clarke is expected to make his preseason debut.
Clarke was originally scheduled to travel Down Under with the Kings, but was pulled at the last minute due to a shoulder injury. He’s been a full participant in practice for the past week and indications are, he will draw in vs. Vegas.
In net — and somewhat returning to the scene of the crime — will be rookie Erik Portillo. He didn’t have the best showing in Vegas just a few weeks ago while playing in the 2023 NHL Rookie Faceoff. The 6-foot-4 goaltender will be looking to rebound from those two games and get back into a competition with Jacob Ingram for the starting role in AHL Ontario.
– McLellan is not expected to return just yet either. Coach Marco Sturm and his staff will once again handle the coaching duties for LA.
– Forward Andre Lee will have knee surgery this week (following an incident in the Anaheim game on Sunday). He is expected to be out month-to-month.
– Defenseman Kim Nousiainen missed a few days of practice. However, he returned today and was wearing a regular colored jersey.
– The Kings players who went to Australia will slowly begin returning to game action here, as early as Friday on San Diego. However, the bigger names won’t be back in the LA lineup until next week’s game in LA.
Kings Projected Lineup vs. Golden Knights:
Hudon – Tynan – Laferriere
Thomas – Pinelli – Hodgson
Madden – Maltsev – Chromiak
Ward – Helenius – Francis
Connauton – Clarke
Krygier – Santini
Booth – Hicketts
Key Game Info
Puck drop is set for 7:00 pm PT and will be streamed via the Golden Knights new platform KnightTime+. It will also be televised by NHL Network.
Across the Ice
Projected lines for tonight’s preseason game at T-Mobile Arena
— SinBin.vegas (@SinBinVegas) September 27, 2023
On This Day in Kings History
On September 27, 1991, the @LAKings played in the first outdoor NHL game before 13,007 fans outside Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. Tony Granato, Brian Benning, Sylvain Couturier, Jari Kurri and Wayne Gretzky scored for the #LAKings in a 5-2 win over the Rangers.#GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/5tczM3YvT9
— The Kingstorian (@Kingstorian) September 27, 2023
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