DAB PREGAME: Devils Continue Difficult Western Road Trip in LA

The Devils thrashed the Kings 5-1 in the only matchup of these two teams earlier this season. -Getty Images

Match Overview

Tonight’s game will feature your New Jersey Devils, who currently own a 36-26-8 record, which positions them fourth in the Metropolitan Division, and the Los Angeles Kings, who own a 39-26-6 record which puts them 3rd in the Pacific Division.

The Devils have begun their difficult Western Conference road trip with two consecutive wins. However, the early success has come in large part to successful goaltending and some lucky bounces. In each of their previous two wins, the opposition has outshot the Devils. The bounces the team wasn’t getting in weeks past are now going their way. This will need to continue if the Devils wish to remain in the playoff hunt, as the schedule doesn’t get any easier. Since it is a 1 PM start time out west, it remains to be seen who will be the starter for this afternoon’s game.

The Los Angeles Kings have alternated win-loss every game thus far in March. Like they have all year, they’ll be relying on their stout defense to limit the Devils who put up eight goals against the Vegas Golden Knights. The Kings rank 2nd in goals against per game (2.5) and 3rd on the penalty kill (83.8). With the likes of Drew Doughty and Jake Muzzin, this is not one bit of a surprise. Even though the focus of this Kings team is defense, led by Anze Kopitar (80-pts), their offense is also a formidable unit (2.9 goals per game). The expected netminder for the Kings tonight is Jonathan Quick (28-25-2, 2.41 GAA, .923 Sv%).

This evening’s game will be at Staples Center and is scheduled to start at 4:00 PM EST.

Projected Devils Lines

Hall-Zajac-Palmieri
Grabner-Hischier-Gibbons
Noesen-Coleman-Bratt
Wood-Boyle-Stafford

Greene-Vatanen
Moore-Severson
Butcher-Lovejoy

TBA

Projected Kings Lines

Iaffallo-Kopitar-Brown
Rieder-Carter-Lewis
Pearson-Kempe-Toffoli
Clifford-Amadio-Thompson

Forbort-Doughty
Martinez/Phaneuf
Muzzin-LaDue

Quick 

Patrick Maroon is not expected to play tonight after he suffered an injury in the Devils last game. –Getty Images 

What/Who to Watch

  • Devils forward Patrick Maroon is a game-time decision for tonight and is “day-to-day” after reportedly suffering a lower-body injury against Las Vegas. If Maroon does not play, the lines posted above are the ones that you should expect to see this afternoon.

 

  • The Kings offense may be “formidable” as described above, but they do not typically generate a whole lot of shots. They rank 21st in the league averaging 31.2 shots on goal a contest. If this trend holds and they fail to generate a lot of scoring opportunities, the Devils netminder must not relax.

 

  • The Los Angeles Kings have relied on centerman Anze Kopitar heavily to generate offense throughout the season. Over his last five games, he has 9-points (2G, 7A). Coach Hynes must do a good job of getting his top defensive pairing on the ice against one of the best centers in the league.

 

This evening’s game can be seen on MSG+ at 4:00 PM.

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