Devils Wrap Up Back-to-Back in Los Angeles | GAME PREVIEW
The Devils take on the Los Angeles Kings at Crypto.com Arena for the third game of a five-game road trip.
You can watch on MSGSN or listen on Devils Hockey Network at 10:30pm ET / 7:30pm PT.
Read the game preview below and come back around 8:30pm ET / 5:30pm PT for your pregame story.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.
DEVILLS (27-12-3) AT KINGS (25-14-6)
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET; Broadcast on MSGSN
RADIO: 22:30 ET; Live on Devils Hockey Network
Head to head:
The Devils and Kings meet for the first time this season on Saturday, with the second meeting at the Prudential Center on February 23.
New Jersey lost both games last season, first on the road in overtime, 3-2, on November 5, 2021, and then at home on January 23, 2022 by another score of 3-2. Jesper Bratt scored three of the Devils’ four goals in those games, including both of his team’s goals in New Jersey.
Devils Team Field:
After struggling throughout the month of December with points and wins, the Devils have bounced back and are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games. On Friday night, the Devils continued their winning streak with a 6-2 victory against the Anaheim Ducks. Jack Hughes had a three-point night with two goals and an assist, Jesper Bratt had two goals, Dougie Hamilton and Jesper Boqvist each had a goal and an assist, Damon Severson had three assists and four other players had helpers.
Vitek Vanecek continued his stellar play Friday night, stopping 31 of the 33 shots he faced. This season, Vanecek has a 16-5-2 record, a .913 save percentage and a 2.37 goals-against average. Jack Hughes, the Devils 2023 All-Star, leads New Jersey with 28 goals and 52 points, while Dougie Hamilton has a team-high 26 assists.
The line of Jesper Boqvist, Michael McLeod and Dawson Mercer found success for the second straight game, adding three points to the Ducks. The Devils power play also scored on its first lead of the night and went 1-for-2 while going 3-for-4 on the penalty kill.
Kings Team Field:
The Kings are winning and winning often as they are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games and have won their last three games. During that streak, Los Angeles has outscored its opponents 15-7. Despite losing their first two games of the 2022-23 season, the Kings have not lost more than three games in a row this season.
Adrian Kempe’s 18 goals lead LA while Kevin Fiala’s 31 assists and 46 points are team-highs. Jonathan Quick and Pheonix Copley make up the Kings’ goaltending tandem. Copley has started the last five straight games for the Kings. He averages 2.59 goals against and has a save percentage of .904. Quick has an 8-9-4 record in 22 starts and he has a 3.40 goals-against average with an .884 save percentage. The veteran goalkeeper’s last game was on December 31.
Two of the Kings’ strengths as a team are a strong power play and excellent faceoffs. LA’s power play scores 24.4% of the time and is eighth in the NHL. The Kings scored four power play goals against the Oilers on Jan. 9, with Fiala contributing two in the first period and Kempe adding a pair in the middle. Anze Kopitar and Phillip Danault are both in the top-30 for faceoff wins and have led the Kings to the league’s seventh-best faceoff team.
By the numbers:
The Kings are one of three teams tied for most goals in a power-four game. LA scored four goals against Edmonton on January 9th, while Washington scored the same amount against the Oilers on November 7th. Colorado had four goals against the Blackhawks on Oct. 12.
The Devils are the league’s best road team this season with a 16-2-1 record. New Jersey made NHL history by being the first team to win 16 of their first 19 road games in a season.
Bastian (Upper Body, IR)
Bernier (Hip, LTIR)
Marino (Upper Body, IR)
Moore (Upper Body, IR)
Kaliyev (Lower Body, IR)
-Catherine Bogart, NJD.TV