The Los Angeles Kings have not played since embarrassing the Dallas Stars in front of their home crowd on Monday. Tonight they take on the Stars again, this time at home, in an effort to get their second winning streak of the season underway.
The Stars will be playing their 3rd game in 4 nights. After losing to the Kings, the Stars beat the Anaheim Ducks by a score of 4-2 last night as pain-in-the-ass -winger Steve Ott returned to their lineup.
Marty Turco, too decrepit to play back-to-back games, will sit tonight in favor of backup Alex Auld. Alexander Frolov will return for the Kings, although Rich Hammond reported this morning that Justin Williams is unlikely to play as he left practice with a “lower-body injury”. In the tradition of amusing guesses, I’m going with a severe case of chafed thighs.
Though Williams may be out, between Frolov having something to prove (you know, his roster spot), Jonathan Quick on a roll and the bruised, battered and tired Stars (still without Jere Lehtinen and Mike Modano who were placed on IR Tuesday) playing their backup goalie in their 2nd game in as many nights, it will take a collapse of fundamentals for the Kings to lose this game.
It is likely that one of Frolov, Dustin Brown or Teddy Purcell will assume Williams’ right wing spot alongside Anze Kopitar and Ryan Smyth. Though many will miss the speedy, crafty play Williams has brought to the first line, his absence will be interesting. Several fans have contended that the 1st line’s dominance has been solely because of the play of Kopitar and Smyth, while Williams has just been on their bandwagon (probably the same wagon on which those who can’t see Williams’ worth are riding). With someone else on the line, the theory of Williams’ contributions will be put to the ultimate test.
I will be at the game tonight, but in the interest of serving you rabid fans as quickly as possibly, Bobby Scribe will give you the full (and fun) post game report after the Kings have chewed up and spit out the Stars.
Go Kings Go!