After losing their last two games against the St. Louis Blues and the Phoenix Coyotes, the Pittsburgh Penguins enter Thursdays contest with the Los Angeles Kings looking for a win before heading back on the road. As mentioned earlier, the Penguins are coming off a 3-2 loss to the Coyotes on Tuesday, and the Kings enter Pittsburgh coming off a 5-4 shootout victory over the Washington Capitals.
When and where: Consol Energy Center (Pittsburgh, PA); 7:00 pm/et (Root Sports, FS-W)
Records: Penguins (46-21-5, 97 pts.); Kings (42-25-6, 90 pts.)
Season series: Penguins lead 1-0
Last meeting: It hasn’t been too long since the Penguins and Kings last saw each other. The two squads last met in Los Angeles on January 30th with Pittsburgh taking a 4-1 victory, chasing Jonathan Quick in the process. The Penguins got goals from Evgeni Malkin, Tanner Glass, Chris Kunitz, and Jussi Jokinen while the lone Kings goal came from Anze Kopitar. Ex-King Jeff Zatkoff stopped thirty of thirty-one shots for his ninth win of the year.
Who to keep an eye on:
1. Jeff Carter: The Penguins have some history with Jeff Carter, with him being a former Flyer and all. Carter leads the Kings in goals with twenty-five, and has registered a point in three of his last five games.
2. Jeff Zatkoff: The ex-King will look to haunt his former team once again after picking up the win back on January 30th. After being looked at as a concern after Tomas Vokoun went down with blood clots before the season started, Zatkoff has posted a record of 12-4-1 in seventeen games, and hasn’t allowed more than four goals since his NHL debut on October 11th in Florida.
Ex-Penguins: D Jake Muzzin (5th round pick in 2007, but never played a game for the franchise), President of Business Operations Luc Robitaille (1995), Development Consultant Glen Murray (1995-1997)
Penguins: G Tomas Vokoun (blood clots), D Kris Letang (stroke), D Paul Martin (broken hand), RW Beau Bennett (wrist), LW Pascal Dupuis (knee), RW Chris Conner (foot), C Joe Vitale (upper body), C Evgeni Malkin (foot)
-Kris Letang, Paul Martin, and Tomas Vokoun continue to work out with the team and on their own. Martin will undergo another x-ray this weekend, and Letang will return to game action on his own terms.
-The Penguins held a players only meeting after their loss to the Coyotes in Tuesday with Brooks Orpik and Rob Scuderi doing some of the talking.
-Currently, there is no word on whether Beau Bennett’s AHL conditioning stint is complete, but in three games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton he has a single point (assist), but has looked good in the eyes of Ray Shero.
Penguins (via penguins.nhl.com)
14 Chris Kunitz (A)-87 Sidney Crosby (C)-22 Lee Stempniak
36 Jussi Jokinen-16 Brandon Sutter-18 James Neal
17 Taylor Pyatt-57 Marcel Goc-49 Brian Gibbons
15 Tanner Glass-27 Craig Adams-59 Jayson Megna
44 Brooks Orpik (A)-41 Robert Bortuzzo
4 Rob Scuderi-47 Simon Despres
2 Matt Niskanen-3 Olli Maatta
37 Jeff Zatkoff 12-4-1, .915 save %, 2.55 GAA, 1 SO)
Kings (via dailyfaceoff.com)
12 Marian Gaborik-11 Anze Kopitar (A)-14 Justin Williams
70 Tanner Pearson-77 Jeff Carter-73 Tyler Toffoli
71 Jordan Nolan-28 Jarret Stoll-23 Dustin Brown (C)
13 Kyle Clifford-10 Mike Richards (A)-22 Trevor Lewis
6 Jake Muzzin-8 Drew Doughty
26 Slava Voynov-44 Robyn Regehr
33 Willie Mitchell-27 Alec Martinez
31 Martin Jones (10-5-0, .932 save %, 1.90 GAA, 3 SO)