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Morning skate: Penguins vs. Kings

A look at the Pittsburgh Penguins in their morning skate for tonight's game against the Los Angeles Kings.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

Hello and welcome to Thursday. If it's Thursday, that means the weekend is coming, and if the weekend is coming that probably means a lot of hockey games for the Pittsburgh Penguins. After a whole one day off the Pens get ready for another stretch of three games in four days- at home tonight vs. the Los Angeles Kings, up the road for a quick visit to the playoff-battling Columbus Blue Jackets, a rare Saturday off, to make way for a rare Sunday evening home game against the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.

That'll buy the Pens 1 game in three days (home vs. Carolina on Tuesday) before kicking off another 3 games in 4 day stretch starting next Thursday, which will be the final road trip of the regular season to Winnipeg, Minnesota and Colorado.

But, first things first, the Kings



No major changes or surprises here. The lines are what they are at this point, and without Evgeni Malkin (foot out 2-3 weeks), Pittsburgh doesn't look great on paper. But with three tough teams on the schedule, little pity is expected. The Pens will have to dig deep and play a smart, clean game against the Kings to get back to their winning ways.

And it's not that special, but getting a win (or an OT loss) will officially clinch a playoff spot, so that's cool too. Go Pens.