Kings vs. Penguins Preview: Young Kings vs. Reigning Kings
The young and talented LA Kings take on the Pens' veteran All-Stars.
The Penguins attempt to get back into the win column at home against the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday. Pittsburgh has still not sustained a regulation loss this season and their record stands at 2-0-1. The Kings, 3-2-0, are a fast team with an abundance of young talent that made a surprise playoff bid in the spring. They’re off to a start of mixed results this year but they shouldn’t be taken lightly. They have promising players throughout their roster and are coming into this game on a three-win hot streak.
Sully’s Special Night?
Head coach Mike Sullivan is attempting to win his 300th game as Penguins coach against LA tonight. He’s the winningest coach in franchise history already and boasts a record of 299-156-55 in 510 games with the team.
Kings Of Goals
Los Angeles is playing a high-risk, high-reward style. That has resulted in very high goal numbers on both ends of the ice for them. Their defense is struggling beyond the anchor players in Drew Doughty and Sean Durzi in the top four. The team has allowed 4.20 goals against per game in just five games played. Their system seems to hinge on eating goals to score them as they’re also averaging 3.80 goals for per game. The slight difference in goals against is the opportunity the Penguins can run with. Tristan Jarry will have to make some timely saves in net against a solid offense to get them there.
Pens Game #4: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Los Angeles Kings
Date: October 20, 2022
Time: 7 PM (ET)
Place: Pittsburgh, PA
Venue: PPG Paints Arena
Broadcasts: Local- ATTSN, National- ESPN+
Social Media Hashtags #: #LetsGoPens #GoKingsGo
Records- PIT: 2-0-1, LAK: 3-2-0
Standing- PIT: 3rd, LAK: 15th
Points- PIT: 7, LAK: 6
Goals For- PIT: 14, LAK: 20
Goals Against- PIT: 7, LAK: 21
PP% Rank- PIT: 7th (31.3%), LAK: 21st (15.6%)
PK% Rank- PIT: 25th (72.2%), LAK: 22nd (75.9%)
‘21/22 Season Series- 2-0 LAK
‘21/22 Series Goals For- PIT: 5, LAK: 10
Projected starting goalies-
-Tristan Jarry- #35
Bio Info: 6' 2", 194 lbs., DOB: 4/29/1995 (27), From: Surrey, BC.
Drafted: 2013- Rd 2, Pk 44 (PIT); Experience: 7th Season.
Record: 2-0-0, 1.34 GAA, .952 SV%
Career vs. LAK: 1-3-0, 3.36 GAA, .909 SV%
-Cal Petersen- #40
Bio Info: 6' 1", 185 lbs., DOB: 10/19/1994 (28), From: Waterloo, IA.
Drafted: 2013- Rd 5, Pk 129 (BUF); Experience: 6th Season.
Record: 2-1-0, 4.97 GAA, .842 SV%
Career vs. PIT: 2-1-0, 3.01 GAA, .901 SV%
The Pens have not fared well against the Kings in recent years. Their last regulation win against LA was way back in 2018 and the Kings are 4-0-2 vs. the Penguins in their last six meetings.
Monday’s overtime loss to Montreal is relevant for tonight’s tilt against Los Angeles. Both teams are similarly built and each has primarily invested in young offensive talents, or the types of players that quickly change the game but aren’t fully consistent NHL performers yet. That makes for a dangerous and unpredictable opponent that’s capable of catching an opponent with world-class talent at unexpected times. All three of the unanswered goals in the Montreal game were in fact scored by their young stars. A situation the Penguins don't want to repeat.
The means to stop a repeat of that scenario is in the net. The Pens go back to starting goalie Tristan Jarry for Thursday. Jarry is off to a stellar start with a .938 save percentage and a 2.01 goals-against average with only four goals allowed on 64 shots.
Teddy Blueger remains sidelined for the Penguins with an upper-body injury and is still practicing in a non-contact jersey after not traveling to Montreal. He has not been officially ruled out but is not expected to play vs. LA. He has yet to skate in any of the four Pens games this season.
The projected Pens lines for Thursday, October 18, 2022, vs. the Los Angeles Kings:
Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Rickard Rakell
Jason Zucker - Evgeni Malkin - Bryan Rust
Danton Heinen - Jeff Carter - Kasperi Kapanen
Brock McGinn - Ryan Poehling - Josh Archibald
Brian Dumoulin - Kris Letang
Marcus Pettersson - Jeff Petry
P.O. Joseph - Jan Rutta
PP1: Crosby, Guentzel, Rust, Malkin, Letang
PP2: Carter, Rakell, Heinen, Zucker, Petry
PK1: Poehling, McGinn, Dumoulin, Rutta
PK2: Kapanen, Archibald, Pettersson, Joseph
The Kings have nine key players under the age of 25 filling significant roster spots this season: Gabriel Vilardi, Sean Durzi, Adrian Kempe, Arthur Kaliyev, Quinton Byfield, Michael Anderson, Carl Grundstrom, Brandt Clarke, and Blake Lizotte. That makes them one of the youngest core groups in the league. The Penguins, on the other hand, have exactly two players under age 25: Pierre-Olivier Joseph and Ryan Poehling. They're the oldest team in the NHL this season.
Los Angeles will start their backup goalie Cal Petersen which is another lucky break for the Penguins in the quality opposing netminders recently. They have only faced one true starting goalie in the first four games of the season which has certainly been a factor in their ability to rack up 14 goals in that brief time.
Key players added: Forward- Kevin Fiala.
Key players lost: Forwards- Andreas Athanasiou, Dustin Brown. Defensemen- Olli Maatta,Troy Stecher.
Alex Iafallo is out indefinitely on IR with a lower-body injury. Alexander Elder is also sidelined with a face injury. Depth goalie Jacob Ingram is out for five to six months after back surgery.
For The Penguins: Kris Letang. Letang led the Penguins in points last year against the Kings at three (1G-2A) in two games played. He currently has three points in three games played this season for the Penguins as well.
For The Kings: Kevin Fiala. Their only summer trade acquisition, Fiala is one of the players the Kings expect to help elevate their performance from playoff “also-rans” to true contenders. LA has high confidence in him and sees him as one of the finishing pieces to their long-term rebuild.