NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, October 13th
(All times eastern)
Los Angeles Kings (1-1-0) at New Jersey Devils (1-1-0), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Kings will play their first game of the
season in North America tonight, as they visit the New Jersey Devils at
The Kings were one of four NHL teams that opened their 2011-12 schedules with
two games in Europe. Los Angeles notched a win over the New York Rangers in
Stockholm, Sweden before dropping the second game on Saturday to Buffalo in
After beating the Rangers in overtime to open the season, the Kings were dealt
a 4-2 setback by Buffalo. Luke Adam scored twice early in the second period to
help lift the Sabres, who were the only team to win both of their games in
Europe this year.
The Kings got both of their goals on Saturday from Anze Kopitar and Jonathan
Bernier allowed four goals on 26 shots.
Kings centerman Mike Richards will be facing a familiar opponent tonight, as
the former Philadelphia captain has compiled 30 points (7 goals, 23 assists)
in 40 career games against the Devils. Richards, who was traded to LA this
summer, had a goal and an assist in his Kings debut, but was held without a
point in the Buffalo game.
Richards will get a chance to face his former team in LA's next contest, as
the Kings are set to visit the Flyers on Saturday.
Dustin Penner could join a line with Richards and Dustin Brown tonight, as he
is expected to play his first game of the year after missing the European trip
with a lower body injury. Penner is eager to improve after posting just two
goals and four assists in 19 games with LA last year, following a trade with
The Kings won't play their first game at home until Tuesday, when they host
New Jersey has split a pair of games so far this season and will complete a
three-game homestand tonight. The Devils began the year with a 3-0 shutout
loss to Philadelphia on Saturday, but then bounced back with Monday's victory
over the Hurricanes.
Ilya Kovalchuk scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period to help the
Devils down Carolina by a 4-2 score.
Kovalchuk scored on a second-chance shot and Zach Parise got his second goal
of the game on an empty-netter later in the period, as the Devils earned their
first victory under new head coach Peter DeBoer.
Johan Hedberg got the win, making 24 saves, after Martin Brodeur took the loss
in a 3-0 defeat to Philadelphia in Saturday's season-opener.
Mark Fayne also scored for New Jersey to buffer a frenetic burst in the second
period when the Hurricanes tied the game twice in the span of four minutes on
goals by Alexei Ponikarovsky and Chad LaRose.
"I thought we came out and dictated early in the game how we wanted to play,"
Brodeur is expected to be back between the pipes for New Jersey tonight and
Jonathan Quick is expected to get the call for the Kings.
The Kings have won three straight meetings against the Devils and have taken
six of the last 10 in the series. LA has also taken two in a row and four out
of six in New Jersey.
10/13 10:53:12 ET