All the latest from the blue paint…
Dubnyk looks for a fifth straight win
Devan Dubnyk will make his ninth consecutive start Saturday night when the Colorado Avalanche visit Minnesota. Dubnyk posted a 24 save shutout of the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday. The 28-year-old has won four straight while posting a 0.75 G.A.A. and a .974 save percentage.
Semyon Varlamov gets the start for the Colorado Avalanche.
Kings at Lightning: Jonathan Quick vs. Ben Bishop
Blue Jackets at Senators: Curtis McElhinney vs. Robin Lehner
Devils at Canadiens: Keith Kinkaid vs. Carey Price
Oilers at Leafs: Viktor Fasth vs. James Reimer
Stars at Sabres: Anders Lindback vs. Jhonas Enroth
Islanders at Bruins: Chad Johnson vs. Tuukka Rask
Red Wings at Coyotes: Petr Mrazek vs. Mike Smith
Penguins at Canucks: Thomas Greiss, vs. Ryan Miller
Hurricanes at Sharks: Cam Ward vs. Antti Niemi
The Los Angeles Kings are well beyond the point of needing a “wake-up call” and could very well be in a full-blown crisis.
Marian Gaborik gave the Kings a 2-1 lead 2:19 into the third period on Thursday, yet they didn’t even earn a standings point. Instead, the Panthers scored two goals to win 3-2, giving Florida two straight wins and the Kings a third consecutive defeat.
Things get way uglier if you zoom out and check out the big picture for Los Angeles.
Since 2015 rolled around, the Kings only have three wins. Since Dec. 29, they’re 3-6-4.
They haven’t generated a single point in the first three games of a five-game road trip that continues in Tampa Bay on Saturday and ends in Columbus on Monday.
Yeah, there are a lot of bad ways to frame it beyond those meat-and-potatoes numbers:
The Kings are seated at 54 standings points in 51 games with more road contests than home games remaining (not great for a team that’s now 5-12-6 away from the Staples Center).
Check out this video of PHT’s Jason Brough and Mike Halford breaking down the Kings’ woes for more on the embattled defending champs:
For most of the season, Brough and I shrugged off concerns about the slumping L.A. Kings. Don’t worry, we said. They’ll be fine, we said. Defending Stanley Cup champs, we said.
Having won just four games since Christmas, the Kings are in serious jeopardy of missing the playoffs and becoming the first reigning champ to miss the subsequent postseason since Carolina in 2007.
What’s more, the club’s terrible cap situation could prevent GM Dean Lombardi from pulling another trade deadline rabbit out of his hat, like in 2012 (with Jeff Carter) and last spring (with Marian Gaborik.)
In related news, Brayden McNabb — seen in the above video making an egregious mistake — will be replaced in the lineup tonight versus Florida by Jamie McBain.