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Game Preview: Los Angeles Kings @ Pittsburgh Penguins 1/30/2022: Lines, how to watch

After putting up consecutive losses for just the fifth time this season, the Penguins will look to get back in the win column as the Kings come to town.

NHL: JAN 13 Penguins at Kings
Brian Dumoulin battles the Kings’ Viktor Arvidsson in Los Angeles on January 13.
Photo by Rob Curtis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Who: Los Angeles Kings (22-16-7, 51 points, 3rd place Pacific Division) @ Pittsburgh Penguins (27-10-7, 61 points, 2nd place Metropolitan Division)

When: 1 p.m. Eastern

How to Watch: AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh (ATTSN-PT) locally in the Western PA viewing area, Bally Sports West (BSW) for the away team, ESPN+

Opponent Track: The Kings will face the Penguins on the second half of a Pennsylvanian back-to-back after facing the Flyers on Saturday afternoon. The Flyers snapped a franchise-worst losing streak at 13 when they marked their first victory of 2022 with a 4-3 overtime win over Los Angeles. Five games into a road trip, the Kings are 2-0-2 heading into Sunday.

Pens Path Ahead: The Penguins finish off a six-game homestand on Tuesday, February 1, when they face the always-contentious Washington Capitals, who have slid to fourth in the Metropolitan with an underwhelming 4-6-2 record in their last 12 games. Then, Jake Guentzel and Tristan Jarry are off to Las Vegas, while the rest of the team enjoys the All-Star break, before resuming play in Boston on February 8.

Hidden Stat: The Kings are tied for second in the NHL in road overtime losses with five so far this season (they’ve also lost twice in extra time at home.)

Season Series: The Penguins have been having trouble closing out third periods lately, and one of the worst examples came in the first game of this season series. Radim Zohorna scored early in the final frame to tie the game at 2-2 just before the Penguins folded completely. They allowed two goals in ten seconds, then gave up two more unanswered strikes on the way to conceding a 6-2 regulation loss in Los Angeles on January 13.

SBN Counterpart Blog: Jewels from the Crown

Stats

From hockeydb:

—Quinton Byfield made his highly-anticipated season debut on January 20 after an ankle fracture kept him out for the first half of the season. On January 27, he showed off the shot that helped him earn the No. 2 spot in the 2020 draft with his first NHL goal.

Saturday Game Lines

FORWARDS

Alex Iafallo - Anze Kopitar - Adrian Kempe

Trevor Moore - Phillip Danault - Viktor Arvidsson

Andreas Athanasiou - Quinton Byfield - Dustin Brown

Brendan Lemieux - Blake Lizotte - Arthur Kaliyev

DEFENSEMEN

Michael Anderson / Drew Doughty

Olli Maatta / Matt Roy

Tobias Bjornfot / Sean Durzi

Goalies: Cal Petersen (Jonathan Quick started Saturday)

Scratches: Austin Strand, Rasmus Kupari, Carl Grundstrom

COVID Protocol: empty

IR: Alexander Edler (lower body), Sean Walker (out for the season, knee), Lias Andersson

—Trevor Moore and Viktor Arvidsson, who flank center Philip Danault on the Kings’ second line, have dominated in January; the two have combined for 27 points (8-19—27) and helped Los Angeles stay in a playoff spot, even when the team’s bottom six struggled to make an offensive impact.

—Fun(ny) fact: the Kings are paying $2.6 million this season for Jeff Carter to be a Pittsburgh Penguin.

And now for the Pens..

Projected Game Lines

Forwards

Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Bryan Rust

Brock McGinn - Evgeni Malkin - Kasperi Kapanen

Danton Heinen - Jeff Carter - Evan Rodrigues

Zach Aston-Reese - Brian Boyle - Dominik Simon

Defense

Brian Dumoulin / Kris Letang

Marcus Pettersson / John Marino

Mike Matheson / Chad Ruhwedel

Goalies: Tristan Jarry (or, after his strong performance Friday, will Casey DeSmith get another starting shot?)

Scratches: Mark Friedman, Radim Zohorna

COVID Protocol: none!

IR: Drew O’Connor (week-to-week, collapsed lung), Jason Zucker (week-to-week, core surgery), Louis Domingue, Teddy Blueger (broken jaw, out 6-8 weeks)

—For Friday’s game, Brock McGinn shifted up to the second line to skate alongside Evgeni Malkin, while Danton Heinen joined Jeff Carter on the third. We’ll see if it sticks.

Advanced stats at a glance

As of Saturday, both the Penguins and Kings are top five in the NHL in goals saved above expected, so expect to see some top-notch goaltending today.

The Penguins have been leaning almost exclusively on Tristan Jarry throughout the last month, although Casey DeSmith put up a strong showing in the shootout loss to the Red Wings on Friday; the Kings, on the other hand, have distributed the workload much more evenly between their goaltenders, with Jonathan Quick getting 26 starts and Cal Petersen 17. Because Quick started Saturday against the Flyers, we’ll expect Petersen to get the start against the Penguins.

Milestone and streak watch

  • Jake Guentzel’s next point will mark the 300th of his career; Sunday marks his 338th game. We’re starting to think this kid could really make it in the NHL...
  • Evgeni Malkin has skated in just 10 games so far this season; he has points in eight of them, including eight (2-6—8) during his current 10-game point streak.
  • Sidney Crosby is three goals away from 500. The only active players to have reached this milestone are Alex Ovechkin (801 games) and Patrick Marleau (1,463.) Sunday marks Crosby’s 1,071st outing.