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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, March 27th (All times Eastern)

Los Angeles Kings (42-25-6) at Pittsburgh Penguins (46-21-5), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Kings will try to match the longest road winning streak in team history when they visit the struggling Pittsburgh Penguins for Thursday's encounter at CONSOL Energy Center.

The Kings have won seven straight on the road, including the first two tests of a three-game trip, to improve their away record this season to 21-12-3. Another victory tonight in the Steel City would allow Los Angeles to tie the franchise's longest road winning streak set from Dec. 18, 1974-Jan. 16, 1975.

With four consecutive victories overall, Los Angeles has helped bolster its standing as the third-place team in the Pacific Division. The top three clubs in each division, of course, earn automatic bids to the playoffs.

The Kings are nine points ahead of fourth-place Phoenix with nine games left in the regular season for both teams. The Coyotes play Thursday evening in New Jersey. L.A. is 11 points behind second-place Anaheim and the Ducks hold a game in hand over the Kings.

Darryl Sutter's club earned its 12th win in 15 games with Tuesday's 5-4 shootout triumph in Washington. That victory came one day after the Kings opened their road trip with a 3-2 regulation win in Philadelphia.

The Kings rallied from a two-goal deficit in the third period on Tuesday, scoring three times to go up 4-3, but Washington rookie Evgeny Kuznetsov forced overtime by scoring inside the final minute of regulation.

After an entertaining overtime period didn't produce a game-winning tally, Kings winger Jeff Carter won it in the shootout, ripping a wrister past Jaroslav Halak's glove.

Dustin Brown and Dwight King each had a goal and one assist for the Kings, while Jonathan Quick stopped 23 shots through overtime. Neither Kuznetsov or Eric Fehr were able to beat Quick in the shootout before Carter netted the clincher.

"You can't sit back and wait for things to happen. You have to create them," Brown said of his team's slow start. "Like I said, we needed to do that from the get-go. It makes it easier on everyone if we can start it that way."

After completing its road trip tonight, L.A. will head back to the West Coast for a three-game homestand. The stay at Staples Center begins with Saturday's test against the Winnipeg Jets.

Although the Penguins hold a comfortable lead atop the Metropolitan Division standings, the club hasn't looked much like a division champ lately. Pittsburgh has lost two straight and five of its last seven games and is coming off a 3-2 regulation setback in Tuesday's game against visiting Phoenix.

The Pens fell to 1-2-0 on a four-game homestand with the loss against the Coyotes. Pittsburgh was tied with Phoenix at 2-2 after the opening period, but couldn't find the net after that as Mikkel Boedker came through with the deciding score late in the second period for the Coyotes.

Jussi Jokinen and Taylor Pyatt scored for the Penguins. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 26 shots in defeat.

"I don't find any joy in losing and really not playing well," Pittsburgh head coach Dan Bylsma said. "There's no excuse there for that, in terms of our play."

Pittsburgh's narrow defeat came hours after the club revealed that star forward Evgeni Malkin will miss 2-to-3 weeks with a foot injury. Malkin joins a long list of injured Penguins, a group that includes valuable defensemen Kris Letang and Paul Martin.

Despite their recent struggles, however, the Pens still hold an 11-point lead over the New York Rangers for the Metro lead.

The Pens hope their recent history against the Kings can get them back on the right track Thursday. Pittsburgh has claimed three straight and six of the past seven encounters in this series and recorded a 4-1 win in Los Angeles on Jan. 30.

Pittsburgh also has won three straight over the Kings in the Steel City, where L.A. hasn't won since posting a 3-0 win at the Igloo on Oct. 10, 2003.

The Penguins are 26-7-2 as the home team this season.

03/27 10:59:02 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
1st
SFG 0
KAN 0
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
 
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
 
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
 
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
 
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
 
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
 
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
 
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
 
4th
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
 
3rd
WASU 16
ARZ 45
 
2nd
CLEM 3
SYR 3
 
Half
LAMON 13
TXST 0
 
Half
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 17
 
2nd
COLST 24
WYO 3
 
2nd
LSU 0
MISS 7
 
1st
TENN 0
ALA 20
 
2nd
AUB 7
SCAR 14
 
1st
PSU 0
OSU 0
 
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
USC
10:45pm Tonight
WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
2nd
TOR 0
BOS 1
 
2nd
NYI 3
DAL 3
 
2nd
PHI 0
DET 1
 
2nd
OTT 0
NJD 0
 
2nd
MON 1
NYR 1
 
1st
STL 0
CHI 1
 
1st
NAS 0
PIT 1
 
1st
MIN 2
TAM 1
 
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
FLA
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
WAS
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14