Feb 27, 2013, 9:05 AM EDT
NBCSN’s ongoing coverage of the 2013 campaign will continue tonight when the Los Angeles Kings host the Detroit Red Wings at the Staples Center at 10:00 p.m. ET.
At first glance, the Los Angeles Kings might look like underperformers, but that’s not entirely fair.
They endured one of the roughest schedules for the first month of play. Only four of their first 17 games were at home and under those harsh circumstances, almost any team would have had trouble doing more than treading water.
That stretch is over now and the question is how they will hold up in the Staples Center. They have already comfortably beat the Colorado Avalanche and Anaheim Ducks, but sweeping this three-game home set with a win tonight will be a challenge.
Injuries have worn down the Detroit Red Wings this season more than almost any other team. At the same time, they’ve shaken off their recent struggles with commanding victories over the Nashville Predators and Vancouver Canucks.
They have looked like a vulnerable team for much of the season without retired future Hall of Famer Nicklas Lidstrom. Still, they’ve proven that – at least on some nights – they’re still the same dangerous Red Wings that have commanded the respect of their opponents for decades.
Detroit – Forwards: Valtteri Filppula (shoulder), Mikael Samuelsson (finger), Todd Bertuzzi (back), Darren Helm (back) Defensemen: Kyle Quincey (ankle), Carlo Colaiacovo (shoulder), Brendan Smith (shoulder) Goaltenders: Jonas Gustavsson (groin)
Los Angeles – Defensemen: Alec Martinez (upper body), Willie Mitchell (knee), Matt Greene (back)
- Julien thinks diving crackdown is ‘step in the right direction’ 32
- Holland doesn’t see Babcock deal by start of season 9
- Risk Factors: Pittsburgh Penguins edition 4
- PHT Morning Skate: Flyers bringing back Ice Girls 15
- Dillon’s agent: Discussions with Stars are ‘frustrating and disappointing’ 7
- NHL shoots down Tkachev’s contract with Edmonton 9
- NHL Board of Governors approves Islanders sale 6
- Johansen, Blue Jackets talks haven’t just resumed, they’re ‘very polite’ 15
- Speedy recovery: Giroux (lower body) to play vs. Rangers tonight 12
- Risk Factors: Boston Bruins edition 13
- Players pushed for coaching fines because they were ‘encouraged’ to dive (34)
- Julien thinks diving crackdown is ‘step in the right direction’ (33)
- Reinhart admits frustration; time running out to make Sabres? (25)
- Canucks waive Markstrom as Shinkaruk, Jensen continue to impress (23)
- Filip Forsberg has scored two thirds of the Preds’ preseason goals (21)