LA Kings vs. New York Rangers (21-11-2)
7:30 PST, Fox Sports West
Record:13-12-5 (80 GF, 80 GA)
Special Teams: 18.9% PP (13th), 83.2% PK (9th)
Top Scorer: Anze Kopitar, 25 points
Best Defenseman: Kyle Quincey
This one's not going to be very long, because the story of the last 10 games is pretty simple:
Anze Kopitar: 10 games, 10 points
Dustin Brown: 10 games, 7 points
Patrick O'Sullivan: 10 games, 10 points
Alex Frolov: 10 games, 9 points
Kyle Quincey: 10 games, 7 points
The Kings' best players played well in the past 10 games and this gave the Kings their best 10-game record so far. Their play is reflected in the Kings' improved power play, which jumped from 19th to 13th in the league, while their goals scored has gone up to 2.9 per game from around 2.5 earlier in the season. For all the talk about who should play on what line and how players should be utilized, the Kings ended up playing better because their best players played well. Funny how that works.
LA King: How 'bout this weather, huh?
NY Ranger: Yeah, I know, it's pretty great.
LAK: What are you talking about? It's 55 degrees and rainy.
NYR: Yeah, I know.
LAK: ...Yeah, I know.
NYR: ...Wait, what?
Jonathan Quick has been called up in Erik Ersberg's stead. Ersberg is expected to miss about 2 weeks. Labarbera will almost assuredly get the start tonight, but it'll be interesting to see if Quick gets a game in on the Kings' back-to-back against Buffalo and Detroit. My money's on: maybe.
Prediction: Kings win, 4-2. Goals by Kopitar, Brown, Frolov and O'Sullivan. Labarbera plays well but looks kind of goofy on one goal, so some douche bag calls him LOLbarbera and then satisfyingly drinks from his Mountain Dew.