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PENGUINS vs KINGS PREVIEW

on March 27, 2014 10:50 AM

LOS ANGELES at PITTSBURGH

When and where — 7 p.m. today, Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh

TV — Root

Radio — WQMU-FM 92.5

Records — Penguins 46-21-5 (97 points, first place Metropolitan Division), Kings 42-25-6 (90 points, third place Pacific Division)

Leading scorers — Penguins: Sidney Crosby (34 goals, 61 assists, 95 points); Kings: Anze Kopitar (37 assists, 59 points), Jeff Carter (25 goals)

Season series — 1-0 Pittsburgh

Last meeting — The Penguins chased Kings goalie Jonathan Quick with three first-period goals and scored a 4-1 victory on Jan. 30 in Los Angeles. Jussi Jokinen had a goal and two assists for Pittsburgh, and Evgeni Malkin, Chris Kunitz and Tanner Glass also scored. Kopitar scored the lone Kings goal. Jeff Zatkoff stopped 30 of 31 shots for the win.

Last time out — The Penguins dropped their second straight home game, losing to Phoenix, 3-2, on Tuesday. Jokinen and Taylor Pyatt had Pittsburgh’s goals. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 26 of 29 shots. ... Los Angeles won its second road game in two nights, beating Washington, 5-4, in a shootout Tuesday. Mike Richards, Dwight King, Marian Gaborik and Dustin Brown scored in regulation, and Kopitar and Carter made quick work of the shootout. Jonathan Quick stopped 23 of 27 shots.

Notes — The Penguins can clinch a playoff spot with at least one point tonight. They have made the playoffs in each of the last seven years and 19 of the last 24. ... Pittsburgh’s laundry list of injuries grew as Malkin went down with a sprained foot and is expected to miss two to three weeks. ... Crosby has seven points in his last five games. Jokinen has four points in that span. ... Crosby leads the league in scoring and holds a 16-point lead over Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf. He also leads in assists with one more than San Jose’s Joe Thornton. ... Fleury (34-17-4, .915 save percentage) is tied for third in the league in wins and second in shutouts (5). ... Fleury’s backup Zatkoff, a 2006 third-round draft pick by Los Angeles, has made four starts and five appearances in March, going 3-2. Overall he’s 12-4-1 with a .915 save percentage.

About the Kings — Los Angeles has won seven straight road games. A win tonight would match the franchise record set in 1974-75. The Kings are 2-0 on their current three-game road trip and have won their last four overall. ... The Kings’ 90 points are good for just third place in the Pacific Division, the league’s toughest, and Los Angeles is likely looking at a tough first-round playoff matchup with Anaheim or San Jose. … The Kings allow the fewest goals per game in the league (2.07), but score the fourth-fewest (2.38). ... Goaltender Jonathan Quick has won four straight games and is 10-2 since Feb. 6. ... Brown has nine points in 12 games since the Olympic break. ... Quick is fourth in the league in goals-against average (2.06). He’s 25-15-2 with a .916 save percentage.

Next — The Penguins play at Columbus on Friday.

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