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PENGUINS vs KINGS PREVIEW

on January 30, 2014 10:50 AM

PITTSBURGH at LOS ANGELES

When and where — 10:30 p.m. today, Staples Center, Los Angeles

TV — Root

Radio — WQMU-FM 92.5

Records — Penguins 37-14-2 (76 points, first place Metropolitan Division), Kings 30-19-6 (66 points, third place Pacific Division)

Leading scorers — Penguins: Sidney Crosby (27 goals, 47 assists, 74 points); Kings: Anze Kopitar (42 points), Mike Richards (28 assists), Jeff Carter (20 goals)

Last time out — Pittsburgh blanked Buffalo, 3-0, at home on Monday. Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 saves for his 27th career shutout. ... Los Angeles dropped the second game of a back-to-back series, 3-0, at Phoenix on Tuesday. Jonathan Quick made 26 saves but was outshined by Coyotes netminder Tomas Greiss (30 saves).

Notes — The teams play for the first time in nearly 27 months, since Pittsburgh beat Los Angeles, 3-2, in a shootout on Nov. 5, 2011. ... The Penguins have won five of their last seven. ... Sidney Crosby leads the league in scoring and is tied with San Jose’s Joe Thornton for the lead in assists. Crosby had two assists on Monday. He holds a 10-point lead on the league’s second-highest score, John Tavares of the New York Islanders. ... Defenseman Matt Niskanen leads the league in plus-minus (plus-29). ... Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (29-12-1, .917 save percentage) leads the league in wins and is tied for second in shutouts (4). ...

Defenseman Rob Scuderi, who left Pittsburgh following its Stanley Cup championship in 2009, won the Cup with Los Angeles in 2012, and played four seasons with the Kings before returning to the Penguins this season. ... Forwards Brian Gibbons, Jayson Megna and Chuck Kobasew and defenseman Paul Martin recently returned to the lineup. Forwards Joe Vitale (wrist), Chris Conner (hand), Pascal Dupuis (knee) and Beau Bennett (wrist) and goalie Tomas Vokoun (pelvis) remain out with injuries.

About the Kings — Los Angeles has lost seven of its last eight. The Kings snapped a five-game losing streak with a 1-0 win at San Jose on Monday. The Kings have scored just one goal in their last 236:47 of game time. Their power play has converted just three of its last 38 opportunities. ... The Kings return to the Staples Center for the first time since Jan. 13. They have played eight games since then, including a home game against Anaheim at Dodger Stadium in the NHL Stadium Series on Saturday. ... Los Angeles allows a league-low 2.04 goals per game.

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