The Canes will conclude their current homestead tonight as the LA Kings come into town for their yearly visit. After a three game losing skid, the Canes have found their stride again. They recorded big wins against Vancouver and Colorado in their previous two contests. In both games combined, the Canes found the back of the net 7 times, which was more than they managed to do during their three game losing streak (3 goals in 3 games). Sebastian Aho has 5 points his last 5 games (3-2–5). Jeff Skinner broke his goal drought Saturday against the Avs. Look for him to heat up down the stretch. Brock McGinn tallied two goals Saturday against Colorado. Hopefully he can keep up his offensive production.
LA comes into town following 4-3 loss to the Lightning on Saturday. In their last 10 contests, the Kings have a record of 6-4-0, and boast an overall record of 30-20-5. They sit one point out of the second Wild Card spot in the West. Kings Captain Anze Kopitar leads the team in points with 59 (22-37–59), with the next closest King (Drew Doughty) having only 39. The Kings forwards have been less than impressive this season. At this point only five players on the roster have surpassed a point total of 30, and two of those players are defensemen (Doughty and Muzzin). The true test the Canes will face in this matchup is the kings goaltending. Starter Jonathan Quick and backup Darcy Kuemper have put up impressive performances so far this season. Quick holds a record of 21-19-2 with a SV% of .921 and a GAA of 2.46. Kuemper holds a record of 9-1-3 with a SV% of .937 and a GAA of 1.93.
What to Watch For:
Its happening!!! Sebastian Aho will get a look at center during tonight’s contest. The young forward has played predominantly on Jordan Staal’s left wing this season. Seabass has recorded 20 goals and 23 assists in 52 games this season, showing tremendous hockey IQ, offensive awareness, and playmaking ability. The move to center should free him up to be even more creative and dangerous offensively. The only question is will he be able to handle the defensive responsibilities of the position?
There are heavy playoff implications tied into tonights contest. A Canes win would give them a point total of 63. The Devils are in action against the Flyers this evening. NJD could jump to 64 points with a win. CBJ and NYI are playing each other tonight. No matter the result, one of the two teams will make the jump to 62 points on the season, due to them both currently being tied with 60 points each. A Canes victory tonight is crucial for the team to keep pace with or surpass the Devils, as well as furthering the gap between themselves and the teams chasing them.
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