Los Angeles Kings 2015-16 Regular Season:
Game 3 vs. Vancouver, October 13, 2015, 7:30pm PST
Fans of the silver-and-black are hoping the third time will be the charm as their 0-2-0 Los Angeles Kings eye their first win of this young regular season. After a four-day layoff, the Kings play host to an old rival, the 2-0-1 Vancouver Canucks, in what will be the first of five meetings between the two clubs this season.
The Canucks are fresh off a date down the road in Anaheim as they visited the Ducks on Monday night, winning 2-1 in a shootout. They enter Tuesday night at STAPLES Center to take on a Kings club that has not had the greatest success against clubs coming off such little rest. Regardless, the Kings are hoping for a win after a lackluster pair of contests to open 2015-16.
At practice on Monday, the Kings shuffled their forward lines. Having no success thus far on the top line, Milan Lucic has been demoted to the second line while captain Dustin Brown — one of the few bright spots for the Kings thus far — has moved up to the top line where he will play alongside Anze Kopitar and Marian Gaborik.
Having played on Monday night, it is unlikely that Ryan Miller will get the call in the Vancouver net on Tuesday. Instead, the Canucks will likely put Richard Bachman in between the pipes, who, in four games against the Kings in his career, has posted a 3-0-1 record allowing just four goals against in the process. The most notable of those appearances was on October 27, 2013 when Bachman, then with the Edmonton Oilers, made 47 saves but lost as the Kings prevailed in a hard-fought shootout win. For a club that has been outscored by a 9-2 margin through their opening two games, the Kings will need much better luck filling the net on Tuesday while keeping the puck out of their own net.
Speaking of which, Jonathan Quick has looked shaky thus far in the Los Angeles net. Of course, in all fairness, so has his defensive corps. Aside from Drew Doughty and the always-physical Matt Greene, the Kings’ defense has been suspect thus far, and will need a much better effort on Tuesday. They will, however, have to do so without the services of Dwight King who, despite not playing yet this regular season, will be sidelined for the next 8 to 10 weeks with a broken bone in his foot. King suffered the injury during his team’s preseason finale in Las Vegas against the Colorado Avalanche on Oct. 3.
Fans in the City of Angels would love a reason to celebrate early and a victory on Tuesday will help. But the silver-and-black will have to earn it.
Enjoy the game!