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Game 62 Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins @ Los Angeles Kings 2/26/2020: lines, how to watch

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The Pens are out west for a game against the very depleted Kings

Pittsburgh Penguins v Los Angeles Kings

Who: Pittsburgh Penguins (37-18-6, 80 points, 2nd place in the Metropolitan Division) @ Los Angeles Kings (22-35-6, 50 points, last place Pacific Division, last place western conference)

When: 10:30 p.m. eastern...on a week day! Brutal!

How to Watch: National game on NBCSN

Opponent Track: For being a last place team, the Kings aren’t actually doing that bad recently. This is game four of a home-stand that they’re 1-1-1 on, with one loss coming in a shootout. LA is 3-2-1 in the last six games they’ve played, though they did lose 4-2 at home to Edmonton on Sunday their last game out.

Pens path ahead: The Pens won’t be going far soon, staying local in LA until a game on Friday night against the Ducks. They will then hop up to San Jose on Saturday night for a back-to-back. Next week it’s back to Pittsburgh for a home game against Ottawa next Tuesday.

Season Series: The Pens won when LA came to the ‘Burgh on December 14th, 5-4 in a shootout. Bryan Rust scored two goals (and one more in the SO). Tristan Jarry made 44 saves in the game. Kris Letang and Jake Guentzel (single tear) also had three points that night.

SBN Team Counterpart: Our friends at Jewels from the Crown will have you covered from the Kings perspective

Tale of the tape

—The Kings are a pretty good Corsi team. But their numerical advantage of taking a lot of shots and not allowing shots gets more than erased since they don’t shoot well and have terrible goaltending. Add in dreadful special teams and this would be the worst team in the league, if not for whatever Detroit is doing.

—There’s also a lot of score effects going on with LA to explain why they likely outshoot opponents. The Kings are 0-22-1 when trailing after one period and 2-30-1 when losing after two periods. That’s 33 of their games they’ve gone into the third period losing! That’s more than double the 16 times they’ve gone into a third period with a lead.

Player Stats at a Glance

via hockeydb:

—Poor Anze Kopitar. I mean, really. Poor guy must be lonely and there isn’t a much more depressing stat-sheet out there this season. The Kings are considered to have one of the deepest prospect pools in the league, which is a good thing because their NHL talent level is very, very depleted.

—One interesting story was 20-year old Gabriel Valardi (11th overall pick, 2017) who made his NHL debut last week and recorded a goal and an assist. After two scoreless games, he’s been re-assigned back to the AHL, but I believe that was just a paper move for AHL eligibility and he’ll play again tonight.

Possible Lines (based on projection)

Forwards

Adrian Kempe - Anze Kopitar - Dustin Brown

Alex Iafallo - Blake Lizotte - Trevor Lewis

Trevor Moore - Gabriel Vilardi - Martin Frk

Nikolai Prokhorkin - Mike Amadio - Austin Wagner

Defense

Joakim Ryan / Drew Doughty

Ben Hutton / Matt Roy

Kurtis MacDermid / Sean Walker

Expected starting goalie: Jonathan Quick

Expected Scratches: Jeff Carter

Injured Reserve: none

—The trade deadline only further depleted a bottom-feeding team with in the past few weeks all of Jack Campbell, Kyle Clifford, Tyler Toffoli, Alec Martinez and Derek Forbort being shipped out from LA, mostly for future draft picks and prospects.

And now for the Pens..

Infographic

Potential Lines (based on Tuesday practice)

Forwards:

Jason Zucker - Sidney Crosby - Conor Sheary

Bryan Rust- Evgeni Malkin - Patric Hornqvist

Patrick Marleau - Evan Rodrigues - Dominik Simon

Jared McCann - Teddy Blueger - Brandon Tanev

Defense:

Jack Johnson/ Kris Letang

Marcus Pettersson / Justin Schultz

Juuso Riikola / Chad Ruhwedel

Possible starting goalie: Tristan Jarry

Expected scratches: Zach Aston-Reese (lower body injury), Zach Trotman (healthy)

Injured Reserve: Nick Bjugstad (core muscle surgery), Brian Dumoulin (ankle surgery), Jake Guentzel (shoulder), John Marino (cheek surgery)

—Well this is quite the different lineup than last game. Three forwards are in from trades, one is gone to trades (farewell, Dominik Kahun), another lost to the waiver wire (Andrew Agozzino) and another returned to Wilkes-Barre (see ya maybe soon, Anthony Angello).

Three 1k club

Thought this was a really cool stat

Also, this one

Lots of fun times ahead. A legend winger wearing #12 joining the Pens, what could go wrong?