In what proved to be a formidable matchup, the Los Angeles Kings squared off against the reigning champions, the Vegas Golden Knights, in a game that promised high stakes from the get-go. The Golden Knights had started the season on an impressive 7-0-1 run, setting the stage for an intriguing clash.
- The Kings struggled with early-game deficits in recent matches, making comebacks a recurring theme.
- Questions arose regarding the Kings’ starting goaltender, with uncertainties surrounding Pheonix Copley’s performance.
- Drew Doughty’s substantial ice time became a topic of concern as he played 27 minutes in the previous game.
- The Kings are hoping for Quinton Byfield to maintain his strong performance from the previous game.
In the past week, the Los Angeles Kings found themselves trailing early in both games, forcing them into comeback mode. This trend became particularly evident when they fell behind 4-1 against their last opponent within the first 10 minutes of play. Although their potent offense managed to bail them out on that occasion, the Kings could not expect a similar outcome against the undefeated Vegas Golden Knights.
One of the key points of interest leading up to this match was the choice of starting goaltender. Initially, the plan seemed to be Pheonix Copley starting against Arizona and Cam Talbot against the Golden Knights. However, Copley’s early exit against Arizona, resulting in Talbot playing most of the game, raised questions about who would be trusted against the high-flying Vegas team.
Another factor to keep an eye on was the workload of veteran defenseman Drew Doughty. Against Arizona, Doughty logged an impressive 27 minutes of ice time, making it likely that Trent Yawney would lean on him heavily again. The question remained whether the nearly 34-year-old Doughty could handle such a workload, potentially nearing 60 minutes of ice time in just two days.
For the Kings, a standout performance from Quinton Byfield could be a game-changer. In their most recent game, Byfield made a significant impact on both the scoresheet and the finer aspects of the game. His ability to replicate that performance could prove crucial for the Kings’ chances against the formidable Vegas Golden Knights.
As the Kings prepared to take on the Golden Knights, the projected lineups for both teams were as follows:
Projected Los Angeles Kings Lines: Forwards:
- Quinton Byfield – Anze Kopitar – Adrian Kempe
- Kevin Fiala – Pierre-Luc Dubois – Alex Laferriere
- Trevor Moore – Phil Danault – Arthur Kaliyev
- Carl Grundstrom – Blake Lizotte – Trevor Lewis
- Mikey Anderson – Drew Doughty
- Vladislav Gavrikov – Matt Roy
- Andreas Englund – Jordan Spence
- Cam Talbot
- Pheonix Copley
Projected Vegas Golden Knights Lines Per THN Vegas Site: Forwards:
- Ivan Barbashev – Jack Eichel – Jonathan Marchessault
- Paul Cotter – Chandler Stephenson – Mark Stone
- Pavel Dorofeyev – William Karlsson – Michael Amadio
- William Carrier – Brett Howden – Keegan Kolesar
- Alec Martinez—Alex Pietrangelo
- Brayden McNabb – Shea Theodore
- Nicolas Hague – Kaedan Korczak
- Adin Hill
- Logan Thompson
With the odds stacked against them, the Los Angeles Kings faced the daunting task of ending the Vegas Golden Knights’ unbeaten streak, a challenge that promised to test their mettle in a high-stakes battle on the ice.