Los Angeles Hockey: Cam Ward

There's a Hurricane coming through

October, 19, 2010

Harry How/Getty Images
Kings backup goalie Jonathan Bernier will start on Wednesday vs. Carolina as the team plays the first of two games in two nights.

Carolina Hurricanes (3-2-0) vs. Kings (3-1-0) at Staples Center, 7:30 p.m.

Five storylines to track:

1. Fourth line changes – Kings coach Terry Murray plans to insert Trevor Lewis and Kyle Clifford into the lineup in place of Brayden Schenn and Kevin Westgarth, teaming them with center Brad Richardson on the checking line. Don’t view these moves as a slight toward either Schenn or Westgarth, but rather a chance to get Lewis and Clifford some much-deserved ice time. The clock is ticking on Schenn and Clifford, however. Because both are too young to play in the AHL, the Kings must return them to their junior teams before the 10th game, or eat the first year of their NHL contracts whether they stick with the Kings or not.

2. Bernier gets his second start – As was mentioned earlier here, goalkeeper Jonathan Quick is off to a phenomenal start, giving up only three goals in three games. But the Kings also play Thursday in Phoenix, their second back-to-back of the season. Since the Coyotes are a Pacific division foe and the Kings are beginning a stretch of seven games in 11 days, it makes sense to put backup Jonathan Bernier between the pipes against the Hurricanes.

3. Loktionov gets another look – One experiment Murray isn’t ready to pull the plug on is lifting 19-year-old rookie Andrei Loktionov off the first line, where he has been rather unproductive in his first two games. With the Hurricanes coming off a 5-2 victory Tuesday night in San Jose, their heavy legs might have trouble keeping up with Loktionov’s speed.

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