Los Angeles Kings vs. New Jersey Devils

It’s a battle for the basement as two injury-riddled teams go head-to-head Tuesday night. The New Jersey Devils will host the Los Angeles Kings at the Prudential Center at 7PM EST. Television broadcast can be seen on FSW and MSG+. Radio broadcast provided by WFAN.

How to Watch

Where: Prudential Center - Newark, NJ.

When: Tuesday, February 5, 7PM EST.

How (TV/Radio): FSW, MSG+ | WFAN

Los Angeles Kings (Away)

Head Coach: Willie Desjardins {All-Time 125-129-30 VAN, LAK}

This season has been rather disappointing for the Los Angeles Kings and it doesn’t seem to be getting any easier. The last week has seen coach Willie Desjardins having to work his best with constant roster changes - be them from trades, AHL call-ups, injuries, and even illness.

Forwards Anze Kopitar and Nate Thompson have both been out with illness. Defenseman Jake Muzzin was recently traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Mike Amadio, Auston Wagner, and Sean Walker were all recently recalled from the AHL. It’s hard to tell what the Kings will even look like by Tuesday night’s game. Many believe that a team rebuild has officially begun.

By the numbers, Los Angeles’ only advantage is in the faceoff circle. Ranked ninth in the league to New Jersey’s 26th, the Kings will have to rely on their possession game - winning faceoffs and hanging on to the puck.

Backup goaltender JAck Campbell is expected to start the game against the Devils. Campbell is 6-9-0 on the season with a 2.19 goals against average and a.931 save percentage. He has one shutout on the season.

New Jersey Devils (Home)

Head Coach: John Hynes {All-Time 130-129-38 NJD}

Another one bites the dust as you can add Travis Zajac’s name to the list of New Jersey’s injured. Suffering a lower-body injury against the New York Rangers last week, Zajac did not travel to Montreal on Saturday for the team’s game against the Canadiens. With the loss of yet another offensive force, it’s no wonder that the Devils dropped from first in the league to 12th in shots for over the last week and a half.

With that said, there are two significant advantages in this game and both belong to the Devils. One comes in the form of special teams and the other is their play at home. New Jersey’s powerplay is ranked 17th in the league with a 19.1 per cent success rate. That may not seem impressive, but it should to the Kings who have a 28th ranked powerplay. The Devils also possess the third overall best penalty kill in the league. The L.A. Kings are ranked 30th in the same stat.

New Jersey’s play at home has also been a shining light on a rather dark season. They hold a 13-7-1 record at the Prudential Center and find themselves against an opponent that is 8-14-3 on the road.

In the game against Montreal, “goalie of the future” Mackenzie Blackwood put on a stellar 37-save performance to help the Devils pull off a 3-2 victory in overtime. However goaltender Keith Kinkaid is expected to get the start against the Kings. Kinkaid is 14-15-6 on the season with a 3.13 goals against average and a .898 save percentage. He has three shutouts on the season.

These two teams last met on December 6, 2018 - a game that saw the Devils pull off a 6-3 victory over the Kings.

What's At Stake?

At this point, it seems that only bragging rights are at stake. Coming from different conferences, both teams find themselves in the basement of the league (New Jersey 14th in the East, L.A. 15th in the West). As well, due to injury and illness, neither team will have their best product on the ice for this game.

Questions to answer

Will Kings’ forwards Anze Kopitar and Nate Thompson, listed as day-to-day with illness,be on the bench Tuesday night?

Can New Jersey goalie Keith Kinkaid follow Mackenzie Blackwood’s lead and give a solid performance with a lacking defense core in front of him?

Can Devils’ young gun Nico Hischier (given the “A” in Zajac’s absence) continue to step up and perform in his new role as he did against the Canadiens?

Los Angeles Kings Injury Report

F Anze Kopitar - day-to-day (illness)

C Nate Thompson - day-to-day (illness)

F Trevor Lewis - IR (fractured foot)

F Jonny Brodzinski - IR (shoulder)

New Jersey Devils Injury Report

F Travis Zajac - day-to-day (lower-body)

D Sami Vatanen - IR (concussion)

D Ben Lovejoy - IR (upper-body)

F Stefan Noesen - IR (lower-body)

F Taylor Hall - IR (lower-body)

F Joey Anderson - IR (fractured ankle)

Los Angeles Kings at New Jersey Devils Predictions and Odds

The New Jersey Devils (-135) are the favourite over the Los Angeles Kings (+110).

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