Winnipeg at Los Angeles
When: 10:00 PM
ET, Saturday, April 9, 2016
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
The blueprint for the Los Angeles Kings entering Saturday's regular-season finale against the visiting Winnipeg Jets couldn't be more simple: win and the team clinches the Pacific Division title and the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs. Los Angeles can also claim the division with a loss if Anaheim fails to win its final two games.
Winning the Pacific will propel the Kings into a first-round series against the seventh-seeded Nashville Predators. Los Angeles, which has not captured a division title in 25 years, outlasted Anaheim 2-1 on Thursday night in a showdown for first place in the Pacific. "We have a lot of work left to do, one massive game ahead of us, but home ice is very important," Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said. Winnipeg enters the contest on a season-high three-game winning streak, knocking off playoff-bound teams in Minnesota, Anaheim and San Jose.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, Sportsnet (Winnipeg), Prime Ticket (Los Angeles)
ABOUT THE JETS (34-49-8): Center Mark Scheifele continued his torrid late-season surge by scoring twice in Thursday's 5-4 victory at San Jose to extend his point streak to nine games - a stretch in which he has notched six goals and eight assists. Scheifele, who has been held without a tally in six games against Los Angeles, is one goal shy of reaching 30 and doubling his total from last season. Blake Wheeler is on a tear of his own, scoring five times during a four-game goal-scoring streak and amassing 14 points during a 10-game string.
ABOUT THE KINGS (48-28-5): Jonathan Quick set a franchise record with his 40th victory Thursday to remain in the running for his second Jennings Trophy - awarded to the goaltender who plays at least 25 games for the league's stingiest defensive team. “It’s to me, the major team award,” Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. “I know there’s been lots of talk about individuals obviously when your team does well and the star factor, but to me the most important awards that just players go on are Jennings (and) Conn Smythe.” Quick is only 4-4-1 with a 3.17 goals-against versus Winnipeg.
1. The Kings are 7-0-3 in their last 10 home games against the Winnipeg/Atlanta franchise dating to December 1999.
2. The Jets are 4-for-10 on the power play during their three-game run.
3. Kings C Anze Kopitar is mired in a seven-goal goalless drought, but he has scored seven times in 13 games against Winnipeg.
PREDICTION: Kings 4, Jets 3
Stats and Records