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Game Preview #57: New Jersey Devils vs. Los Angeles Kings

The New Jersey Devils look to earn a third straight victory when they hosts the Los Angeles Kings at The Rock this afternoon. This post will recap today's game.

Boucher and the Devils take on the Kings this afternoon.
Boucher and the Devils take on the Kings this afternoon.
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The Time: 12:30 PM EST

The Broadcast: TV - MSG+; Radio - WFAN 660 AM and 101.9 FM

The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (28-21-7) vs. the Los Angeles Kings (33-18-3, SBN Blog: Jewels From The Crown)

The Last Devils Game: The Devils defeated the Flyers 2-1 in overtime yesterday. Joseph Blandisi opened the scoring with a sick between the legs goal on the PP. The Flyers would tie the game on their own PP when rookie sensation, Shayne Gostisbehere would fire the puck past Cory Schneider. The Devils were able to grab the second point in overtime after Jakub Voracek took a hooking penalty. Some slick passing between Adam Henrique, John Moore, and Kyle Palmieri would lead to Henrique firing the game winning goal past Michal Neuvirth. Schneider finished with 31 saves. Here is Shane's full recap of that game.

The Last Kings Game: The Kings took on the Rangers on Friday night and walked away with a 5-4 win in overtime. Anze Kopitar had a hat trick with the other Kings goals coming from Marian Gaborik and Tanner Pearson. Gaborik left the game due to injury and has now been placed on injured reserve. Peter Budaj made 24 saves on 28 shots as he filled in for the injured Jonathan Quick. Chris_J has the recap from a Kings perspective over at Jewels From The Crown.

The Last Devils-Kings Game: This is the first time these teams are meeting this season.

The Goal: While I would like to see the Devils generate more offense, especially in even strength situations since you can't always rely on the PP to carry the load, the reality is it would be a tough ask against a strong Kings team. I'd like to see the Devils keep things simple. Make it a low event game with strong defense and safe plays. Stay out of the penalty box to avoid going up against the Kings skilled PP. The Devils are bound to get a few scoring chances through the ebbs and flows of the game and I'm hoping they'll be able to take advantage of one or two of those to win a low scoring game.

Team Stats: The Kings are averaging 2.80 goals per game (7th) and 2.37 goals against per game (7th). They have a 23.3 PP% (2nd) and a 81.9 PK% (10th). By comparison the Devils are averaging 2.21 goals per game (30th) and 2.21 goals against per game (1st). They have a 21.3 PP% (6th) and 82.8 PK% (8th).

Likely Kings Lines: Here is how the Kings lined up in practice yesterday according to Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider:

Blue: Pearson-Carter-Toffoli

Likely Kings Pairs: According to Left Wing Lock, the most likely defense pairings will be McNabb-Doughty, Muzzin-Martinez, and Schenn-Gravel.

The Adams: Adam Henrique is currently hot with 3 goals and 2 assists over his last 4 games. Adam Larsson has continued to step up this season and has averaged more than 25 minutes a game in 4 out of his last 5 games.

Possible Goaltending Matchup: While this is the second part of a back-to-back, it wouldn't be a shock to see Cory Schneider and his .931 SV% get the start as the Devils are entering the stretch run for a playoff spot. Keith Kinkaid has been decent in limited duty this season but the Devils may want to ride Schneider right now since he has been hot over his last 5 games. With Jonathan Quick injured, one of Jhonas Enroth (11 GP, .925 SV%) or Peter Budaj (1 GP, .857 SV%) will get the start for Los Angeles.