It’s the anniversary of the Kings first-ever victory at (what was then known as) Staples Center. Tonight will also mark Mikey Anderson’s 200th NHL game. And, of course, the Coyotes are in town, which means it’s time for the return of Sean Durzi as well.
So, where do we even begin?
Probably with the elephant on the room. More than anything else, Tuesday night will provide the Kings with an opportunity to win their first contest on home ice.
Sure, the Kings have faced some tough opponents so far, but much of the talk among the players and coaching staff has been about the need to establish a home ice “advantage” early in the season.
The start to their 2023-24 campaign hasn’t necessarily been bad. When taking into consideration the teams they’ve faced this far, 2-2-1 is respectable. Now, with the Coyotes in town for the front half of this week’s home-and-home series, it presents an opportunity to show well against a team that — on paper — is less dangerous than the first three teams that rolled into town.
On the bright side for LA, they have played competitive hockey with some of their biggest contributors staying off the scorecard. Adrian Kempe and Kevin Fiala have just one goal combined between them. Sooner or later, those guys are going to start to finding the back of the net on a fairly regular basis. After Saturday’s matchup, Todd McLellan even talked about how he would like to see Fiala use his shot more often; this came after the dynamic winger failed to register a single shot against Boston.
Despite being goalless, Fiala enters play on Tuesday riding a four-game point and assist streak. His seven assists lead all Kings skaters and ranks second in the league behind Vancouver’s Elias Pettersson (8) and Detroit’s Dylan Larkin (8). Over the course of his 74 games in a Kings sweater, Fiala has registered 23 goals and 56 assists for 79 points. Should he collect a point tonight, Fiala would become the seventh different skater in club history to reach the 80-point mark within his first 75 games as a member of the organization.
In net, McLellan appears to be giving the nod to Pheonix Copley.
Look for Pheonix Copley in net tonight, based on today’s optional, yet well-attended, morning skate.
— Zach Dooley (@DooleyLAK) October 24, 2023
Best Toddfather quote from Kings AM skate:
"When I say clean up the mistakes I think there's five goals we've given up this year just on stupidity."
— Dennis Bernstein (@DennisTFP) October 24, 2023
The same two teams will rematch on Friday at Mullet Arena in Phoenix.
Kings Projected Lineup vs. Coyotes
Byfield – Kopitar – Kempe
Fiala – Dubois – Laferriere
Moore – Danault – Kaliyev
Grundstrom – Lizotte – Lewis
Anderson – Doughty
Gavrikov – Roy
Englund – Spence
Likely scratches: Anderson-Dolan, Björnfot
Injured Reserve: Arvidsson (LTIR)
Key Game Info
Puck drop is set for 7:30 pm PST and will be televised by Bally Sports West.
For those live in attendance, the LA Kings Booster Club will offer their popular ‘Puck for a Buck’ contest — featuring Trevor Moore for this game. Just $1 could win you an autographed puck from an NHL star. Visit their table outside sections 318-319 on the upper concourse for more information.
Across the Ice
Here’s how the Coyotes lined up for their last game:
Keller – Hayton – Schmaltz
Zucker – Cooley – Maccelli
Crouse – Bjugstad – Carcone
Kerfoot – McBain – O’Brien
Moser – Durzi
Dermott – Dumba
On This Day in Kings History
On October 24, 1999, the @LAKings celebrated their first victory at STAPLES Center. Stephane Fiset made 31 saves and stopped Mike Ricci on a penalty shot attempt, and Donald Audette scored the game-winning goal in a 4-3 win for the #LAKings.#GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/cNweebV6Mj
— The Kingstorian (@Kingstorian) October 24, 2023
Lineup graphic via ALo Images
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