The Los Angeles Kings return home from a successful 3 game Eastern Conference swing and continue their playoff preparations as they host a Western Conference newcomer.
TV: FS-W; RADIO: KEIB AM 1150
This is the third meeting of the season, but the first visit to LA by the Jets. Each team one once in Winnipeg with the Jets winning 5-3 on opening night and the Kings returning the favor 3-1 earlier this month.
The Kings swept their 3 game road trip, finishing it off with a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Winnipeg has split the first two of their 5 game Pacific swing, losing to Dallas before beating San Jose 4-3 on Thursday night.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Evander Kane, WPG – The burgeoning power forward is a threat to score any time he is on the ice. Speed, hands and grit make him the full package. He has had injury troubles brought about by the rambunctious style he plays and that has limited his development a little. In 56 games this season he has 17 goals an 19 assists. He has 4 goals and 4 assists in 5 career games against the Kings.
Justin Williams, LAK – Williams is just 2 goals shy of notching his 5th 20 goal season. His numbers are still nowhere near his career highs of 33 goals and 76 points both set in Carolina, but his all around game is what makes him so effective. He has 32 points in 40 games against the Jets franchise, mostly dating back to their Atlanta days in the Eastern Conference.
TOP 3 STORYLINES FOR THE GAME
1. Hanging by a Thread – The Jets are 9 points out of the final wildcard spot with 8 games to play, so they must run the table and also get help if they want to make the playoffs. Essentially, although mathematically they are not eliminated, another lost point would be the final nail in the coffin.
2. Streaks – The Kings have won 5 straight overall and 2 in a row at home. They won’t be moving in the standings but every game is a chance to creep closer to the 100 point plateau.
3. Find The “O” – As it stands right now, the Kings will have the second worst offense in the playoffs, ahead of only the Minnesota Wild. Their style of play is one that keeps games tight, but it would be nice to see a few games where they light it up a bit, and this could be one of those nights.