Tyler Toffoli

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WATCH LIVE: Los Angeles Kings at Minnesota Wild

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NBCSN’s coverage of the 2017-18 season continues on Monday night when the Los Angeles Kings visit the Minnesota Wild. Puck drop is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET. You can catch all of the action on NBCSN or on our Live Stream.


Tobias RiederAnze KopitarDustin Brown
Tanner PearsonJeff CarterTrevor Lewis
Kyle CliffordAdrian KempeTyler Toffoli
Andy AndreoffNate ThompsonTorrey Mitchell

Derek ForbortDrew Doughty
Alec MartinezDion Phaneuf
Jake MuzzinChristian Folin

Starting goalie: Jonathan Quick

[NHL on NBCSN: Kings, Wild continue pursuit of important points]


Jason ZuckerEric StaalNino Niederreiter
Zach PariseMikko KoivuMikael Granlund
Tyler EnnisMatt CullenCharlie Coyle
Marcus FolignoJoel Eriksson EkDaniel Winnik

Ryan SuterMatt Dumba
Jonas Brodin – Ryan Murphy
Nick SeelerNate Prosser

Starting goalie: Devan Dubnyk

Kings ride weird goal to beat Red Wings


If you looked at the scoreboard alone, you’d think that the Los Angeles Kings played like the more desperate team in pushing the fading Detroit Red Wings to eight consecutive losses (0-7-1).

That makes sense, as the Kings did take care of business on Thursday, and they ended up winning 4-1.

Still, it wasn’t anywhere near as easy as that final score indicates. For one thing, Anze Kopitar‘s game-winning goal was a weird one, and must really bum Jared Coreau out as he had been playing well considering his recent struggles:

Tyler Toffoli and Dustin Brown scored late goals to drive up the margin, but who knows if it would have been as smooth of a ride for Los Angeles if the above bounce didn’t go the Kings’ way?

This isn’t to say that the Kings played poorly, mind you, just that it was a close, low-event game. To an extent, it was very much the type of game Los Angeles was able to grind out during the gravy days of Kopitar, Jonathan Quick, Drew Doughty, and others.

This win gives the Kings 84 points in 71 games played. This gives them a shot at catching the Sharks for the second seed (85 points in 70 GP), but first things first, the Kings strengthened their grip on the third spot in the Pacific and a playoff spot in general. The Ducks and Flames also only have 11 games left like the Kings, but Anaheim’s parked at 82 points while Calgary has 80.

From a big picture sense, this wasn’t all bad for Detroit.

At this point, they’re better off losing, at least when they can do so while “keeping their heads high.” That probably applies here, as they were able to play the Kings hard while also leaving without any standings points. With 63 points in 70 games, Detroit could conceivably sink below the Senators (61 points in 69 GP) among some other cellar dwellers.

So, really, both teams did what they needed to do on Thursday, even if it wasn’t always pretty.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

WATCH LIVE: Red Wings at Kings

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Detroit Red Wings

Tyler BertuzziHenrik ZetterbergGustav Nyquist

Darren HelmDylan LarkinAnthony Mantha

Justin AbdelkaderFrans NielsenAndreas Athanasiou

Martin FrkLuke Glendening — Evgeny Svechnikov

Jonathan EricssonTrevor Daley

Dan DeKeyserNick Jensen

Niklas KronwallMike Green

Starting goalie: Jared Coreau

[Red Wings – Kings preview.]

Los Angeles Kings

Alex IafalloAnze KopitarDustin Brown

Tobias RiederJeff CarterTrevor Lewis

Tanner PearsonAdrian KempeTyler Toffoli

Kyle CliffordMichael AmadioNate Thompson

Derek ForbortDrew Doughty

Dion PhaneufAlec Martinez

Jake Muzzin — Paul LaDue

Starting goalie: Jonathan Quick

Kings beat Vegas two nights in a row


Physically and emotionally, things must have been exhausting for the Los Angeles Kings lately. They can take a breath and maybe let out a sigh of relief after Tuesday.

Just about any team will be trying to catch their breath after playing a home-and-home set with the hectic, shockingly effective Vegas Golden Knights. That’s especially true when you’re resting Jonathan Quick, thus throwing Jack Campbell into the fire because previous backup Darcy Kuemper is now in Arizona.

On Monday, they beat the Golden Knights in overtime in Los Angeles. On Tuesday, they warded off a torrent of activity to beat the Golden Knights 4-1.

Campbell and counter-punching

It wasn’t as easy as the 4-1 score would imply, even though there were no empty-netters.

The Golden Knights fired 42 shots on goal to 30 for the Kings, but Los Angeles was able to counter-punch, particularly on goals for Kyle Clifford and Tyler Toffoli.

Vegas’ hard-charging style might mean certain “live by the sword, die by the sword moments,” even if they’ve done a marvelous job of walking that razor’s edge. Jack Campbell simply outdueled them tonight.

Back during the 2010 NHL Draft, the Dallas Stars selected Campbell with the 11th overall pick. Campbell was selected shortly before Cam Fowler, Jaden Schwartz, and Vladimir Tarasenko. Being that Tuesday marked just the third NHL appearance of the 26-year-old’s career, it’s not outrageous to say that things haven’t exactly panned out as planned.

Campbell hasn’t given up on his hockey career, and Tuesday stands as a heartwarming reward. The Golden Knights fired a ton of shots on him, but only an early William Karlsson goal beat Campbell. That’s saying something, being that Vegas fired 30 SOG through the first two periods alone.

New faces

Tomas Tatar suited up wearing number 90 for Vegas. He fired plenty of shots, but it was Ryan Reaves who made more of an impression, heading to the penalty box on multiple occasions and drawing ire for hits on the likes of Anze Kopitar.

Jeff Carter isn’t technically a “new face,” but he probably almost feels that way considering how long he’s been out of commission for the Kings. After scoring his first goal of the season on the power play last night, he added another one on the man advantage to ice this win against the Golden Knights.

With Carter only at nine games played, he almost feels like a “trade deadline addition” for Los Angeles.

Promising road ahead?

There’s one other significant source of optimism for Los Angeles: the Kings’ early March schedule.

The Kings play their next five games at home, and beyond that, seven of eight contests take place at the Staples Center from March 1-17. This big win strengthens the Kings’ playoff positioning in the West’s playoff races. They moved to third in the Pacific Division with 75 points in 64 games, grabbing slim advantages over the Ducks (74 points) and Calgary Flames (73). They’re also not far behind second-ranked San Jose, who took care of business against Edmonton tonight.

While the Golden Knights face a harsh start to March, they remain in a strong position to win the Pacific, if not the West’s top seed.

Speaking of seeds … if Vegas faces Los Angeles in a first-round series, then games like Tuesday’s bout could already plant the seeds of disdain, even for a rivalry that’s just brimming.

And here we were thinking it would take a long time for this to be more fun than that weird Twitter tiff from September …

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

WATCH LIVE: Los Angeles Kings at Vegas Golden Knights




Los Angeles Kings

Alex IafalloAnze KopitarDustin Brown

Tanner PearsonJeff CarterTyler Toffoli

Tobias RiederAdrian KempeNate Thompson

Kyle CliffordMichael AmadioTorrey Mitchell

Derek ForbortDrew Doughty

Dion PhaneufAlec Martinez

Jake MuzzinChristian Folin

Starting goalie: Jack Campbell

[Kings – Golden Knights preview.]

Vegas Golden Knights

Jonathan MarchessaultWilliam KarlssonReilly Smith

David PerronErik HaulaJames Neal

Alex TuchCody EakinTomas Tatar

Ryan ReavesRyan CarpenterTomas Nosek

Luca SbisaNate Schmidt

Shea TheodoreDeryk Engelland

Colin MillerBrayden McNabb

Starting goalie: Maxime Lagace