Los Angeles Kings (1-1-1) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins(3-0-0)
TV: None, that we know of.
Sprint Center, Kansas City, MO
Season Series: 0-0-0
Last Meeting: February 10, 2011. Penguins won 2-1 [OT].
What we said in our recap:
Even though Wilkes-Barre has one of the best winning percentages in North American pro hockey this season, there's still some uneasiness felt when you see the Pens have names in their lineup that sound like mobsters and/or backup tight ends. Pens lost Dustin Jeffrey to an injury, and he won't heading to Long Island for Friday night.
Pens didn't play a trap for this game. They were all-systems-go. They relied on team speed, some scoring, solid defense, solid goaltending, and great penalty killing to win this game. Actually, that's what they've been doing all year.
Know Your Enemy: The Royal Half
What they're saying:
So you are a diehard hockey fan in Kansas City, Missouri. Sure, AEG took a huge gamble in building a rink in the hopes that if they built it, they may come. But they didn't. Instead they stayed in Pittsburgh and moved back to Winnipeg. (Actually, it turns out that AEG may not have been taking such a huge risk in building the Sprint Center.) So as that previously mentioned diehard hockey fan in Kansas City... what do you do? You settle for the 2nd best thing... NHL pre-season hockey.
The game Tuesday night is sold out. And it's the highest attendance ever for a pre-season game*!!!
*The highest attendance for a 2011 pre-season game at a neutral, non-NHL venue site in North America that is.
Pittsburgh Penguins Notes:
Andrew Orpik, Brooks Orpik's brother, is retiring.
The Igloo is coming down.
We'll be doing our first pregame show tonight if all goes well. We'll have more details later.
Los Angeles Kings Notes:
That's not even the Kings logo anymore.
Drew Doughty still hasn't signed.
Something about Mike Richards.
Favorite Kings-Related Image, Photoshop or Gif:
Pittsburgh Penguins' lines from Penguins.NHL.com:
Eric Tangradi - Evgeni Malkin - James Neal
Chris Kunitz - Jordan Staal - Tyler Kennedy
Richard Park - Mark Letestu - Nick Johnson
Steve MacIntyre - Joe Vitale - Craig Adams
Ben Lovejoy - Matt Niskanen
Paul Martin - Joe Morrow/Deryk Engelland
Brian Strait - Scott Harrington
That almost looks like a real line-up at forward. This is a big night for Eric Tangradi. He'll have to impress tonight if he wants to make the team.
Los Angeles King Lines from LA Kings Insider:
Dustin Penner - Mike Richards - Trent Hunter
Dwight King - Jarret Stoll - Dustin Brown
Jordan Nolan - Andrei Loktionov - Justin Williams
Kyle Clifford - Trevor Lewis - Ethan Moreau
Rob Scuderi - Jack Johnson
Alec Martinez - Matt Greene
Davis Drewiske - Slava Voynov
This feels a lot less important than what we once expected the Penguins' first game in Kansas City would be like.
Sure, it's a neutral-site, preseason, non-televised game but it's also a chance to look back and be thankful that at least one of the teams playing still represents Pittsburgh. The 2009 Stanley Cup Champions could have been the Kansas City Whatevers.
"Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it, or... learn from it."