Currently sitting in third place in the Pacific Division, the Kings (40-27-6) have their work cut out for them. With Anaheim, Colorado, Dallas, St. Louis and even Calgary still nipping at their heels, the post-season is far from guaranteed at this point.
Although going up against a very powerful Winnipeg Jets squad, the Kings should have an easier time scoring goals, as Winnipeg’s Jacob Trouba (concussion) will not dress Tuesday following a gargantuan hit by Stars’ captain Jamie Benn on Sunday.
“I think he just tried to step up and I think I just rung his bell a little bit,” Benn said following Sunday’s game. “It’s just an unfortunate play. Hopefully he’ll be alright.”
Recent Manitoba Moose call-up Eric Comrie will start the game for Winnipeg – his third career NHL start. It will also be Comrie’s second start of the season, and first career start at Bell MTS Place for the Jets (43-19-10).
With Steve Mason (lower body) and Michael Hutchinson (concussion) also on the shelf with injuries and Connor Hellebuyck in need of some much-deserved rest before the playoffs, Comrie will look to run with this opportunity as far as he can take it.
“Every time you come up, you get more comfortable, you get more used to the guys, everything gets a little bit easier,” Comrie said Tuesday. “I’m excited to be back up here. I’m a little bit more calm this time, a little bit more ready.”
The Kings are coming off of a 4-3 come-from-behind overtime victory Monday night in Minnesota, and will hope to put the puck past Comrie early. Comrie gave up six goals on 36 shots in a loss to Florida earlier this season. Los Angeles is expected to counter Comrie with former World Junior Gold Medalist Jack Campbell between the pipes.
The only other lineup change sees Joe Morrow slotting back in on the blueline in place of the injured Jacob Trouba. Jack Roslovic remains out of the Jets’ lineup Tuesday as Brandon Tanev once again skated with Adam Lowry and Joel Armia on Winnipeg’s fourth line at morning skate.
By Carter Brooks
Photo by Will Borys