The Los Angeles Kings will be looking for payback Thursday as they return home from a 4-2-0 road trip to face the Toronto Maple Leafs. Los Angeles, which concluded its trek with a 4-2 loss in St. Louis, suffered its first regulation loss of the season at Toronto as it dropped a 3-2 decision on Oct. 23.
The Kings are 4-0-1 this season at Staples Center, where they have allowed more than two goals just once. Toronto is continuing a four-game road trip that began Monday with a 3-2 loss in San Jose and was followed by Wednesday’s 3-1 triumph at Anaheim. Patrick Marleau’s goal 69 seconds into the third period, which snapped a 1-1 deadlock, was his second game-winner of the season and the 100th of his NHL career. The victory ended a three-game slide for the Maple Leafs, who conclude their trek Saturday at St. Louis.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, TSN4 (Toronto), FSN West (Los Angeles)
ABOUT THE MAPLE LEAFS (8-5-0): Ron Hainsey notched a pair of assists against the Ducks to give him nine on the season - four shy of his total over 72 games in 2016-17. The 36-year-old is tied with fellow defenseman Morgan Rielly for the team lead in assists but remains in search of his first goal of the campaign. Auston Matthews was kept off the scoresheet Wednesday for just the third time this season, ending his three-game point streak.
ABOUT THE KINGS (9-2-1): Captain Anze Kopitar leads the team with 14 points after collecting six during the road trip. The 30-year-old Slovenian began the trek with a three-point performance at Columbus and ended it with a three-game streak that he carries into Thursday’s contest. Dustin Brown recorded four points in the opener of the road trip but went four games without a point before notching an goal versus the Blues.
1. Kings D Drew Doughty was a season-worst minus-3 on Monday, marking just the third time he finished with a negative rating this campaign.
2. Toronto is expected to have D Roman Polak and RW Kasperi Kapanen in the lineup Thursday after they were healthy scratches against Anaheim.
3. Los Angeles went just 1-for-13 on the power play during its road trip.
PREDICTION: Kings 4, Maple Leafs 3