The Los Angeles Kings are back home at Staples Center. And unlike the road, that’s been a good place for them this season.
The defending champs, still very much in danger of missing the playoffs, enter tonight’s key contest versus the Oilers with a 22-9-7 home record. If they can make it 23-9-7, they’ll replace idle Winnipeg as the second wild-card team in the Western Conference standings.
“We’ve still got to take care of business at home,” coach Darryl Sutter said yesterday, per LA Kings Insider. “We’re going to be close to having – even already – one of the best home-ice records in the franchise’s history. In fact, we’re probably ahead of any year that I’ve been here, and there were years where they’ve had half this many. Take care of business at home first.”
Counting tonight, the Kings have three home games left, plus three on the road, where they’ve gone a disappointing 15-16-7. It’s estimated they’ll have to go around 3-2-1 in order to make the playoffs. And even that may not cut it.
Of note, Jarret Stoll will be back in the Kings’ lineup tonight after missing five games with an injury, while Mike Richards could be a healthy scratch in order to make room.
The Kings also play at home Saturday versus Colorado. After that, it’s road games in Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary, before finishing the regular season by hosting San Jose.