Coming off a brief road trip, where the Kings picked up all four points available, they now return home for a Saturday night contest against the visiting Boston Bruins.
Thus far, LA’s schedule has been a tough one and this will be their fifth consecutive game against a postseason team from last season. Another strong performance will be needed to reel in their third straight victory.
Although the Bruins are always a tough opponent when they come to town, the Kings are starting to prove that they can play with just about any team in the league. Perhaps, coach Todd McLellan’s club is even starting to find their identity early on in the season. They clearly can score goals in bunches, typically don’t give up much defensively, and have started receiving timely saves when needed.
Just how good has the offense been? The Kings have scored 19 goals through their first four games of the season, tied for second in the league behind only Carolina (23). With at least one goal tonight, they would have 20 goals. And only four Kings teams in total have come out of the gates so strong in the last 30 years: 2019-20 (20G), 2000-01 (23G), 1995-96 (21) and 1993-94 (28).
Tonight is also set to be a historic one for the Kings franchise and captain Anze Kopitar. He will become the organization’s all-time leader in games played, appearing in his 1,297th contest (surpassing Dustin Brown). A remarkable achievement for the Slovenia native.
Among active skaters, only Ryan Suter (1,365), Alex Ovechkin (1,350) and Brent Burns (1,338) have played more games in the NHL.
In 25 career games against the Bruins, Kopitar has recorded 19 points (6G, 13A).
Meanwhile, Drew Doughty is set to play in his 1,100th career NHL game tonight. He’ll become just the fourth player in franchise history — and first defenseman — to hit that mark in LA, joining Brown, Kopitar and Dave Taylor (1,111). In doing so, he will become just the seventh active blueliner to reach the 1,100-game mark.
Doughty and Kopitar have skated in 1,080 regular-season games together, the most among active teammates and fifth most by any pair in league history (a list upon which Kopitar and Brown rank third with 1,158).
Kings Projected Lineup vs. Bruins
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 Drew Doughty 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 Bruins lined up for their last game:
DeBrusk – Zacha – Pastrnak
Marchand – Poitras – Geekie
van Riemsdyk – Coyle – Frederic
Lucic – Beecher – Lauko
Grzelcyk – McAvoy
Lindholm – Carlo
Forbort – Shattenkirk
Per Coach Montgomery, Jake DeBrusk was late to a team meeting and will not play tonight in Los Angeles. pic.twitter.com/1Hm9oWldVA
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) October 21, 2023
On This Day in Kings History
On October 21, 1998, @LAKings goaltender Manny Legace made his NHL debut in a 1-1 tie against the Florida Panthers. Legace set an #LAKings' goaltending record for most saves in an NHL debut when he recorded 49 saves in his first career game.#GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/NqRyT2i1Hr
— The Kingstorian (@Kingstorian) October 21, 2023
Lineup graphic via ALo Images
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