Toronto at Los Angeles
When: 10:30 PM
ET, Thursday, March 13, 2014
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
The Los Angeles Kings look to match a franchise-best nine-game winning streak and net Darryl Sutter his 500th coaching victory on Thursday when they open a five-game homestand against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Rookie Martin Jones made 24 saves in a 3-2 win over Calgary and turned aside 38 shots in the Kings' 3-1 victory in Toronto on Dec. 11, but is expected to take a seat in favor of Jonathan Quick. The 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy winner attempts to tie Rogie Vachon as he vies for his franchise-best 171st victory.
Anze Kopitar has admitted to receiving an "emotional boost" from the Olympics - and his recent play supports his statement. The Slovenian has collected four goals and eight assists in the last nine contests and scored and set up a tally on Monday. The Maple Leafs fell for just the seventh time in 21 games (14-4-3) with a 6-2 setback to San Jose on Tuesday.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, TSN, FSW (Los Angeles)
ABOUT THE MAPLE LEAFS (35-24-8): Jonathan Bernier received the night off versus San Jose, but made dinner plans with some of his former Kings teammates for Wednesday night. "Try to let them know that they've got to shoot wide," the 25-year-old Bernier joked to TSN. Bernier, who was selected by Los Angeles with the 11th overall pick of the 2006 draft, stopped 20 shots in his first meeting against his former team.
ABOUT THE KINGS (38-22-6): Jeff Carter scored the tiebreaking goal midway through the third period and had an assist in his last meeting with Toronto. Carter has flustered the Maple Leafs in his career, tallying 11 times in 22 career contests and enters Thursday's tilt on a roll with three goals and an assist in his last four games. Defenseman Drew Doughty has seen his offense slip since the Olympics, but notched an assist for his first point in six outings.
1. Los Angeles won nine in a row during the 2009-10 season.
2. Phaneuf's biggest hit of the night on Tuesday was an inadvertent shot on teammate LW James van Riemsdyk. The latter was briefly shaken, but returned to the contest and is expected to play on Thursday.
3. Maple Leafs RW Phil Kessel notched an assist in the previous meeting and has scored four goals and set up three others in six career contests versus the Kings.
PREDICTION: Maple Leafs 2, Kings 1
Stats and Records