Despite having the worst record in the NHL, the Kings can tie last season’s win total of 27 with a victory. Chicago is last in the Central Division but does have a winning record at 28-26-6. There’s still a shot at the playoffs for the Blackhawks, but they are eight points back and need to get hot right away. There’s no doubt the Blackhawks remember their last meeting with the Kings, a 9-2 romp on New Year’s Day in one of those few occassions this season where everything went right for the Kings. With Jason LaBarbera injured, Dan Cloutier will make his fourth start of the season. Cloutier has won five starts in a row against Chicago, though the last was in 2005. Crawford said he will keep the line of Michael Cammalleri, Patrick O’Sullivan and Alexander Frolov together, so it will be interesting to see if they can keep the magic going from last game — when they combined for 11 points. Who plays on the top line alongside Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown will be something to watch. Scott Thornton got time there Thursday after O’Sullivan moved down when Derek Armstrong got injured. Armstrong will be out again today with a knee injury. Also look for the Kings debut of Matt Ellis, acquired off waivers from Detroit on Thursday.
A big reminder, 1 p.m. game today!