How about this strange factoid — the Ontario Reign and Coachella Valley Firebirds have played three times this season, every game has ended in a shutout.
Following Ontario blanking the second-year franchise twice previously, it was Coachella Valley reversing the tables for a 2-0 victory on Friday night.
Now, everybody heads east to the desert for the second half of their home-and-home weekend series.
Here are a few quick notes on Saturday’s projected lineup;
— Coach Marco Strum is expected to have rookie goaltender Erik Portillo man the crease. He’s 5-1 with a 1.96 goals against average and .932 save percentage.
— After sitting out on Friday, we’re assuming Kings prospect Franky Pinelli will return to the lineup. His last goal came against the Firebirds on Nov. 21.
— Sammy Fagemo snapped a seven game point streak last night. It was also the first time since rejoining the Reign he was held with out a point.
— Defenseman Toby Björnfot resumed his conditioning assignment on Friday. He should play tonight and next Wednesday before rejoining the Kings. It was in Coachella Valley one week ago where he suffered a very scary looking injury.
— Jacob Moverare was recalled to the NHL on Saturday, in advance of the Kings hosting the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday. That should allow Bjornfot to slide up and play with Brandt Clarke. That would also have Sturm makes some additional adjustments to the defensive pairings. Kim Nousiainen could potentially draw in, as well.
— Samuel Helenius had another fighting major on Friday. That makes three fights in the last six games, including two against Coachella Valley.
ONTARIO REIGN PROJECTED LINEUP vs. COACHELLA VALLEY FIREBIRDS
Madden – Tynan – Fagemo
Pinelli – Maltsev – Chromiak
Ward – Turcotte – Thomas
Lee – Helenius – Doty
Other options include: Hodgson, Hudon
Bjornfot – Clarke
Nousiainen – Connauton
Krygier – Wylie
Other options include: Hicketts, Inamoto, Santini
Puck drop is scheduled for 6pm Pacific Time and the game can be viewed on AHL TV.
Game day graphic via ALo Images
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