Los Angeles Kings 2015-16 Regular Season:
Game 26 vs. Tampa Bay, December 6, 2015, 7pm PST
One day after defeating Pittsburgh in a solid matinee effort, the Los Angeles Kings will look to capture their fourth-straight win as they look to sweep their current homestand when they play host to the 13-11-3 Tampa Bay Lightning in the second and final regular-season meeting between the two clubs this season.
The Kings and Bolts met in St. Petersburg on Nov. 25 when the Lightning prevailed in the shootout by a 2-1 count. That game was a defensive battle from start to finish as both Jonathan Quick and Ben Bishop were solid in their respective nets with the latter making 37 saves. Unfortunately, Bishop’s status is unknown for Sunday as a result of a scary incident on Saturday.
En route to his team’s 4-3 win in San Jose on Saturday, Ben Bishop was the recipient of an accidental stick to the face from Tomas Hertl. It is unclear whether the blade hit the Lightning netminder in the eye or above it but Bishop went down and had to leave the game as a result. Andrei Vasilevski came on in relief as the Bolts held on for the win. Bishop’s status for Sunday, however, is still up in the air.
Speaking of their win on Saturday, the Lightning were able to leave San Jose with two points by a slim margin despite having a 4-1 lead. The Kings were in the same boat on Saturday, holding on to beat the Penguins after having a 4-1 lead of their own. But if there is any time for the silver-and-black to flex their power play muscle, it will be on Saturday as all three goals the Bolts surrendered on Saturday came while shorthanded. The Lightning did, however, score once on the power play but being a man down certainly hurt them against the Sharks. The Kings, who have gradually looked better on the power play as of late, need to take advantage of this.
Tyler Johnson scored for the Lightning against Los Angeles back on Nov. 25 while Milan Lucic answered for the Kings. Lucic is also coming off a two-goal outing on Saturday but he wasn’t the most productive King as defenseman Jake Muzzin had a three-point afternoon against Pittsburgh with a goal and two assists.
Steven Stamkos leads the Lightning with 11 goals and 20 points this season while defenseman Victor Hedman leads the way with 12 assists. Needless to say, the silver-and-black will need to contain these two should they hope to end their weekend on a high note.
With Jonathan Quick playing on Saturday, expect the Kings to go with Jhonas Enroth on Sunday. With that said, considering Quick’s solid outing in Tampa just under two weeks ago, starting No. 32 on consecutive days is not beyond the realm of possibility.
It should be a great matchup as both clubs look to close out their season series with a victory.
Enjoy the game!