KINGS AT DEVILS
Faceoff: 4 p.m. TV/Radio: FSW, 790-AM
The Kings on Sunday recalled center Mike Richards from their American Hockey League team in Manchester, N.H., in an attempt to bolster their roster for the final 11 regular-season games. The Kings (34-23-14) practiced Sunday and Richards joined his teammates for the workout. He is expected to play against the Devils (31-30-11), two months after he cleared waivers and was assigned to the minors after recording five goals and 15 points in 47 games with the Kings. He had 14 points in 16 games for Manchester. The Kings desperately need depth at center, with Jarret Stoll sidelined by a concussion and Nick Shore failing to record a goal in 25 games and Andy Andreoff scoring only once in 17 contests. The Kings play their next five games on the road and finish with only three of their final 11 at Staples Center. The Devils are 10-4-2 in their last 16 games. They also are 10-4-1 in their last 15 home games. They lost 3-0 to the New York Islanders on Saturday, however.
COYOTES AT KINGS
Faceoff: 7:30 p.m. TV/Radio: FSW, 790-AM
The Kings (33-22-13) are ninth in the Western Conference, one point behind the Winnipeg Jets in the battle for the second wild-card berth. The Kings, fourth in the Pacific Division, also trail the third-place Calgary Flames by two points. They have 14 games remaining, but only five at home. The Jets have 13 games left, including eight at home. The Flames have 13 remaining, including seven at home. The Kings’ penalty killers have been successful on 39 of their last 41 shorthanded situations, dating to Feb. 12 against the Calgary Flames. But they gave up a key power-play goal in the third period of a 2-1 loss Saturday to the Nashville Predators. Jeff Carter had the Kings’ only goal, his team-leading 24th. The Coyotes (21-40-8) have been eliminated from the playoff race and are 1-8-1 in their last 10 games. Arizona goalie Mike Smith is 11-4-1 with two shutouts, a 2.26 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage in 17 games in his career against the Kings.
KINGS AT CANUCKS
Faceoff: 7 p.m. TV/Radio: FSW, 790-AM
The Kings (32-21-13) edged closer to a playoff spot with a 5-2 victory Tuesday over the Colorado Avalanche in the first game of a two-game trip. They were tied with Calgary for third place in the Pacific Division going into the Flames’ home game Wednesday against the Ducks. But the Flames led the Kings in the tiebreaking category of victories in regulation play or overtime, 32-30. The Kings also were only one point behind the Winnipeg Jets in the race for the second of two wild-card spots. The Jets only have 27 wins in regulation or OT, however. Justin Williams tied his career high with three assists in the Kings’ win Monday. Andrej Sekera recorded his first point, an assist, since the Kings acquired him last month. The second-place Canucks are 38-24-4 after a 2-1 victory Monday over the Ducks.
KINGS AT AVALANCHE
Faceoff: 6 p.m. TV/Radio: NBCSN, 790-AM
The Kings (31-21-13) left for a two-game trip mired in ninth place in the Western Conference standings, two points out of the eighth and final playoff spot. It’s difficult to imagine the reigning Stanley Cup champions missing the playoffs, but time is short and the teams ahead of them are playing well. (Vancouver defeated the Ducks on Monday, for instance). The Kings must improve their play away from Staples Center if they are to move up. They are 10-14-6 on the road, and play all but six of their final 17 games away from home. They have 10 games left against teams in playoff spots. The Kings also must find a way to score more goals. They have been blanked 1-0 twice in their last six games and their 175 total goals ranks as the fewest of any of the playoff contenders in the West. Colorado is 30-25-11.
KINGS AT OILERS
Faceoff: 6:30 p.m. TV/Radio: FSW, 790-AM
Kings general manger Dean Lombardi didn’t make a deal at the NHL’s trade deadline Monday, so the roster will remain intact for the rest of the regular season and the playoffs, if they make the playoffs. The Kings have lost three consecutive games, including a lackluster 5-2 defeat Sunday to the Winnipeg Jets, and fell from a playoff spot after winning eight consecutive games and returning to the postseason field. The Kings are 29-21-12 overall, but only 9-14-6 away from Staples Center. Only the Buffalo Sabres (seven), Toronto Maple Leafs (seven), Edmonton Oilers (eight) have fewer road wins than the Kings, which explains their predicament. Coach Darryl Sutter hasn’t been pleased with the play of his veterans during the Kings’ three-game losing streak, but he hasn’t named names. The Oilers are 18-35-10, and last in the Pacific Division and in the Western Conference.
LIGHTNING AT KINGS
Faceoff: 7:30 p.m. TV/Radio: FSW, 790-AM
The Kings got an unexpected day off from coach Darryl Sutter on Sunday after taking a 3-1 victory Saturday from the Washington Capitals, their fourth consecutive win. The Kings’ streak began with a 4-2 victory Feb. 7 over the Lightning in Tampa. Although they have played a good deal better in all three zones, and in goal, the Kings (25-18-12) remain on the outside of the playoff picture. Three points and two teams separated the Kings from the final wild-card spot at the start of business Sunday. The Kings are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games, but the Minnesota Wild, the team that’s one point ahead of them in the standings, is 8-0-2. Tyler Toffoli has five goals and seven points during a four-game point streak. The Lightning are 35-17-6 after Sunday’s 5-2 win over the Sharks in San Jose. Steven Stamkos scored his team-leading 30th goal and Ben Bishop stopped 33 shots in Tampa’s win.
Kings forward Tyler Toffoli recorded four goals and six points to lead the team to three victories last week. The NHL took notice and named Toffoli the second star of the week. His week was highlighted by his first three-goal game in the NHL during a 5-3 victory Thursday over the Columbus Blue Jackets. He also had an assist for a career-best tying four-point game. He became the first Kings player under 23 to record a hat trick since Anze Kopitar on Oct. 22, 2009. Toffoli has 18 goals and 36 points going into Monday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Marian Hossa of the Chicago Blackhawks was the first start and goalie Pekka Rinne of the league-leading Nashville Predators was the third.
Kings defenseman Alec Martinez. (Photo by John McCoy Daily News)
KINGS AT BLUE JACKETS
Faceoff: 4 p.m. TV/Radio: FSW, 790-AM
Defenseman Alec Martinez is said to be day-to-day because of concussion-like symptoms after he took a hard hit Saturday. The Kings ended a three-game losing streak with a 4-2 victory Saturday over the then-Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay Lightning, the fourth stop on their five-game trip. Martinez was injured in the first period. A victory today over the Blue Jackets would enable them to salvage their trip and give them back-to-back road wins for the first time since defeating the Minnesota Wild on Nov. 26 and then the Phoenix Coyotes on Dec. 4. The Kings are 22-18-12 overall, but 6-12-6 on the road after ending a four-game losing streak away from Staples Center on Saturday. Only the lowly Buffalo Sabres and Edmonton Oilers, with five apiece, had fewer road victories at the start of business Sunday. Defenseman Drew Doughty scored his first goal in 14 games Saturday. Justin Williams scored twice against the Lightning, ending a seven-game drought without a point. The Blue Jackets are 23-25-3, and will welcome Marian Gaborik back to Columbus for the first time since trading him to the Kings last March.
KINGS AT LIGHTNING
Faceoff: 2 p.m. TV/Radio: FSW, 790-AM
The Kings (21-18-12) lost their third in a row to start their five game trip and remained mired in 12th place in the Western Conference after a 3-2 defeat Thursday to the Florida Panthers. They also were five points out of the final wild-card spot. The Kings are 5-12-6 away from Staples Center, tied with the lowly Buffalo Sabres and Edmonton Oilers for the fewest road victories in the 30-team NHL. The Kings’ chances of making the playoffs were down to only 12.5 percent, according to the website sportsclubstats.com. Kings forward Jeff Carter has a defensive rating of plus-14 in home games, seventh-best in the league. Carter’s defensive rating of minus-12 on the road is 798th, however. Carter has scored 12 of his 14 goals and recorded 17 of 22 his assists at home. Defenseman Drew Doughty is the Kings’ leading scorer on the road with 14 points, including four goals. Tampa Bay is first in the Eastern Conference with a 33-15-5 record. Steve Stamkos leads the Lightning with 28 goals, tied for third overall in the NHL with two others.
KINGS AT PANTHERS
Faceoff: 4:30 p.m. TV/Radio: FSW, 790-AM
Two games, two losses, one goal. The Kings’ five-game trip started with a whimper instead of a bang and the reigning Stanley Cup champions awoke Wednesday to find themselves in 12th place in the Western Conference and out of the playoff picture. Their 5-11-6 road record, which includes a 1-6-2 mark since Dec. 11, is partly to blame for a lackluster 21-17-12 overall record. The Kings are 15-16-11 since starting the season 6-1-1. Goalie Jonathan Quick, the MVP of the playoffs during the Kings’ first run to the Stanley Cup in 2012, is 17-14-10 with a 2.51 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage. Kings captain Dustin Brown called for more emotion from his teammates after a 4-0 loss Tuesday to the Capitals in Washington, which followed a 3-1 defeat Saturday to the Bruins in Boston. Florida is 22-17-10. The Panthers on Thursday recalled defenseman Steven Kampfer from San Antonio of the AHL.