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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, January 30th (All times Eastern)
Pittsburgh Penguins (37-14-2) at Los Angeles Kings (30-19-6), 10:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Kings will try to get on track during a four-game homestand, which begins with a big test against the Eastern Conference-leading Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Kings have lost six of their last seven games and were blanked 3-0 by the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday. Jonathan Quick came up with 26 saves, but backup Coyotes netminder Thomas Greiss stopped all 30 shots he faced.
It marked the third straight game that the Kings have been involved in that was decided in a shutout. Los Angeles was blanked 3-0 by the Anaheim Ducks at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, then snapped a five-game slide with a 1-0 win over the San Jose Sharks on Monday.
However, the Kings' offensive rut continued Tuesday and the club has just one goal over their last 236 minutes and 47 seconds of action.
"I think tonight Phoenix did a really good job," L.A. forward Dustin Brown admitted. "I don't know how many shots we had but I don't know how many really good chances we actually had and that's probably a bit of them playing really well and us not being hungry enough to get to the dirty areas."
Los Angeles failed on both of its power-play chances on Tuesday and has just three goals in its last 38 chances on the man advantage.
The Kings now lead the Vancouver Canucks by just three points for third place in the Pacific Division, while the Penguins are leading the East with 76 points.
Pittsburgh is coming off a 3-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Monday, with Marc-Andre Fleury stopping all 24 shots he faced for his fourth shutout of the season.
Fleury notched his 27th career shutout, while Chris Kunitz notched his career high-tying 26th goal of the season. Pittsburgh also got goals from depth skaters Tanner Glass and Deryk Engelland to bounce back from a 3-0 loss to Dallas on Saturday and win for the fifth time in seven games.
"It's always great to chip in. I see Sid, (Evgeni Malkin), and those guys always doing it. To get a few from the bottom six is a big thing," Engelland said.
Craig Adams and Sidney Crosby added two assists each for the Metropolitan Division leaders, who are 15 points ahead of the second-place New York Rangers. Crosby leads the NHL with 74 points and is tied for the league lead with 47 assists.
The Penguins have won their last two meetings with the Kings, including a 3-2 shootout win in the most recent encounter on Nov. 5, 2011 in Los Angeles.
Pittsburgh has won five of the last six encounters overall.
Fleury is 4-2-0 with a 2.26 goals against average in his career versus the Kings, while Quick is 1-1-2 with a 2.41 GAA against the Pens.
01/30 10:53:26 ET