Los Angeles Kings 2015-16 Regular Season:
Game 40 vs. Toronto, January 7, 2016, 7:30pm PST
Nearly three weeks ago, the Los Angeles Kings arguably put on their worst performance of the year, losing 5-0 in Toronto to a Maple Leafs club who were simply looking to enter the Christmas break with some momentum. Specifically, former Kings netminder Jonathan Bernier was looking for a great deal of momentum as he entered the Dec. 19 winless on the year. He not only beat the Kings but shut them out. This time around, the silver-and-black should be determined not to let history repeat itself.
Just one night after winning in Anaheim, the 16-15-7 Leafs visit STAPLES Center as they look to sweep their season series against the Kings. The silver-and-black, however, did beat the Leafs the last time they visited Los Angeles: a 2-0 win last Jan. 12.
The blue-and-white, though, have won three-straight and being five points out of a playoff spot, should be hungry to elevate their game on Thursday while, in the process, proving that last month’s rout of the Kings was no fluke.
Entering Thursday’s game, James van Riemsdyk is riding a seven-game point streak where he has scored four goals and five assists during that span. In his last 10 games, he has scored seven goals and added nine assists.
Since Jonathan Bernier started in goal on Wednesday, it is unlikely that he will get the call again. However, he did post a 39-save shutout against the Ducks so you never know. It would be his ninth-straight start but despite shutting out the Kings on Dec. 14 but look for the Leafs to make way for James Riemer to get the nod in goal. In four-career games against the Kings, Reimer is 3-0-1 with a 1.83 goals-against average. Needless to say that the Kings will have their hands full regardless which goaltender starts.
The Kings may even get some new faces in the lineup on Thursday. On Wednesday, the club acquired defenseman Luke Schenn and veteran forward Vincent Lecavalier from Philadelphia for Jordan Weal. We will see if either will suit up for Los Angeles against the Leafs.
After having their five-game winning streak snapped on Monday, all the Kings want is to start a new streak while doing their best to erase their embarrassing showing in Toronto last month.
We’ll see what happens.
Enjoy the game!