The Montreal Canadiens will try to escape Los Angeles with two points tonight, a day after losing in a shootout to the Anaheim Ducks.
Alex Galchenyuk is hot, but will all the King's men be able to put together a defence to stop the Habs sniper?
Jonathan Quick kept the Canadiens off the scoresheet in their first meeting this season Dec. 17. The Habs made him work for that shutout firing 45 shots at the Kings goaltender who is expected to start tonight.
The Habs are fresh off a shootout loss to Anaheim where Mike Condon was terrific but the win-and-you're-in philosophy may take a back seat to goalie fatigue tonight. Since he didn't get the start in Anaheim, I expect Ben Scrivens to start tonight against his former team.
There may be some debate about the 1986 movie Youngblood and where it ranks among the sports classics, but there is no debate about the recent performance of the Habs up and comers.
(I will defer to Carey Price on the Youngblood debate after he even managed to work in an Outsiders reference in defence of the campy 1980s hockey flick.)
But seriously, the kids have come in and, at the very least, injected some passion into this lineup but also held their own against a very strong Ducks team.
Michael McCarron is a big body presence that allowed for Alex Galchenyuk to have the time and space to score a couple goals against the Ducks and was quick off the blocks following a dirty hit on Lars Eller.
Greg Pateryn looks good on defence and Morgan Ellis may have been in the box on the tying goal in Anaheim but played a good 10 minutes and blocked shots in his NHL debut. Phillip Danault won seven out of nine faceoffs. Not bad for a kid with fewer than 50 NHL games under his belt.
Galchenyuk, A.K.A. Chucky
This kid needs a nickname that does not bring to mind a murderous doll desperately trying to return its serial killer soul to a human body. We can do better people. Galchenyuk is turning into a reliable goal scorer and most of the time they are pretty darn beautiful.
Centre, winger, who gives a flying "Good Guy" doll? Just let the kid create and do what he does best, which lately is slay opposing goalies. Actually, the nickname may be perfect.
Galchenyuk has five goals in his last four games and will have to beat the NHL's best defence if he wants to add to that at the Staples Centre tonight.
The puck drops at 10:30 p.m. ET.