Manor Projected Lineups: LA Kings at Chicago Blackhawks, Bedard vs. Byfield


They see me rollin'. They hatin'.
Staff member
Jul 28, 2004

For the very first time, the Kings will get an up-close look at rookie phenom Connor Bedard, as they pay a visit to the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday evening. Just ignore the fact it took until nearly the end of the season for this to happen. That’s something to be taken up with the NHL schedule maker.

Coming off a good effort (but a disappointing result) in St. Louis on Wednesday, the focus now shifts to a game in which LA has to win. Although nearly every NHL game is competitive and there often isn’t much separating each team skill-wise, there is really no excuse for the Kings not to pick up two points tonight.

This is a game they need to win, plain and simple. It’s also the first of a back-to-back situation for LA, so things won’t get any easier on Saturday for coach Jim Hiller’s group. A dominating effort in Chicago would erase any lingering frustration from the Blues game, as well.

Effort and execution are two different things that have been at the forefront of most Kings conversations for quite some time now. Following Wednesday’s defeat, Hiller and some of his players spoke about how although the effort has been there, the execution has not. The bottom line is, good teams find ways to score goals when needed, and LA is going to have to figure it out quickly; especially with the postseason getting closer.

With the back-to-back set, Hiller needed to decide how best to deploy his goaltenders. Per morning skate reports, he’ll go with All-Star netminder Cam Talbot tongight, before giving way to David Rittich vs. the ‘tougher opponent’ in Dallas on Saturday.

Looks like Cam Talbot tonight and David Rittich tomorrow in Dallas for Kings net per Jim Hiller.

— Dennis Bernstein (@DennisTFP) March 15, 2024

Statistically Speaking

— This will be the first faceoff of what should be a marquee matchup in the NHL for many years to come. Connor Bedard and Quinton Byfield have never faced each other, as they played in different junior leagues (WHL vs. OHL), and even missed out on being part of the same Team Canada World Junior teams by just one year.

— Byfield’s next goal will give him his first career 20-goal campaign. The last Kings player to record at least 20 goals in a season at age 21 or younger was Anze Kopitar (27 in 2008-09).

— Former Kings forward Andreas Athanasiou recently returned to the Hawks lineup after being out with an injury. He’s only suited up in 12 games thus far this season after scoring 20 goals with Chicago last year.

— The Kings skate into Chicago with points in each of their last seven games vs. the Blackhawks (5-0-2) and in 15 of their last 17 overall (12-3-2), dating back to the 2016-17 season. In those 17 contests, the Kings have allowed 43 goals for a goals against-per-game (GA/GP) of 2.15, the lowest among any one team vs. Chicago over that stretch.

— Adrian Kempe leads all Kings skaters with six game-opening goals this season. The last Kings player with more in a single campaign was Dustin Brown (7) in 2018-19.

— Since resuming play on Feb. 10 following the break, Drew Doughty has accumulated a team-leading 15 points (3-12=15) in 17 games.

— Kevin Fiala has 16 points (9-7=16) in his last 12 games vs. Chicago, dating back to Dec. 1, 2018.

Kings Projected Lineup vs. Blackhawks

Byfield – Kopitar – Kempe
Moore – Danault – Fiala
Laferriere – Dubois – Turcotte
Lewis – Lizotte – Kaliyev

Anderson – Doughty
Gavrikov – Roy
Englund – Spence

Talbot (starter)

Likely scratches: Moverare

LTIR: Arvidsson, Copley, Grundstrom

Key Game Info

Puck drop is set for 4:30 pm Pacific Time and will be televised by Bally Sports.

Across the Ice

Chicago is coming off a 7-2 victory over Anaheim on Tuesday.

Here’s how they lined up for that one:

Foligno – Bedard – Kurashev
Blackwell – Dickinson – Anderson
Athanasiou – T. Johnson – Raddysh
Donato – Entwistle – R. Johnson



In their last 10 games, the Blackhawks are 3-5-2. As the home team, they’re 13-17-4 this season.

On This Day in Kings History

On March 15, 1994, Wayne Gretzky scored his 799th career goal, and 34th goal of the season, in a 7-0 win for the @LAKings. Gretzky took over the league lead in scoring with 115 points in 69 games, and Kelly Hrudey made 33 saves against the Ottawa Senators.#LAKings #GoKingsGo

— The Kingstorian (@Kingstorian) March 15, 2024


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