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Game 18, Preview and Open Thread: Late Night With Michal and Randy, Philadelphia Flyers at Los Angeles Kings

Philadelphia Flyers (11-5-1, 23 pts) at Los Angeles Kings (13-7-2, 28 pts)
Staples Center - 10:30 PM ET - Los Angeles, CA
TV: CSN Philly HD
Radio: 610 WIP, XM 208
This is the open game thread.
Behind Enemy Lines: Battle of California

The Flyers begin a four-game West Coast swing tonight in Los Angeles as they reunite with outcast defenseman Randy Jones. He'll get his chance for revenge tonight as he faces his old team for the first time since they banished him to the minor leagues.

The Kings are depleted with injuries, though. Ryan Smyth found out today that he'll be out for a month while defenseman Rob Scuderi is also missing time. Who needs to step up in Scuderi's absence, according to Battle of California? Take a guess...

Rob Scuderi is almost as important as Ryan Smyth but he's a little easier to replace. Randy "Has a Peephole in His Guest Bathroom" Jones has taken Rob Scuderi's slot. Jones has played a few games for the Kings and is a high plus/minus player. Someone like Rob Scuderi isn't going to give you a lot of plus plays that lead to goals, but he's also not going to make any mistakes that cost the Kings' goals. Jones, on the other hand, will fail to skate hard getting back and cost the Kings a goal (like he did against the Panthers to make it 0-2), but then he'll smartly jump in on the rush and tap in a rebound goal (like he did against the Panthers to make it 3-2). I don't know, I'm not a huge fan of him because I think poor Wayne Simmonds is going to wake up one morning with a sticky face and a lot of questions, but he's fine for a little while.

The Kings also have a few other former Flyers on their roster, but they're two players that were actually liked around these parts. Michal Handzus and Justin Williams are wearing purple and black these days, and Terry "Choking Situation" Murray is their bench boss. Williams should get top line time tonight playing with Alexander Frolov and NHL scoring leader Anze Kopitar. Zus skates with Wayne Simmonds and Teddy Purcell.

On the Philly end, Brian Boucher will get his second start to the season tonight. After a less-than-impressive first outing about a month ago, Boosh will look to get back to winning as he faces a Kings team he got to see a lot of last season. His team played them six times last season and he got in two of those games, winning both. He even shut them out on October 12th. Hopefully, he can put in a serviceable performance tonight considering we're going to be seeing much more of him over the next two months as the schedule picks up.

David Laliberte is back in the Flyers' lineup as Arron Asham exits with an oblique strain. He'll play alongside center Claude Giroux and winger, not defenseman, Darroll Powe. Letting those three loose is an exciting proposition. Other than that, we should see the same lineup tonight as we saw Monday against the Devils.

If you love hockey and have nothing else to do tonight, you'll be a happy camper. There are five games on the NHL schedule this evening and all of them have different start times, so you can catch a ton of hockey from 7 PM to about 1:30 AM when the Flyers are done beating down on the Kings.

After the jump, we'll ask a few questions to be answered as well as the open thread. Join us for some insomniac hockey, won't you?

Questions To Answer

  1. The Flyers have allowed only six goals in the first period, best in the league. The Kings are close though, only allowing 11 in the first period, good for fourth in the league. Does anybody take over the offensive flow early?
  2. How does Randy Jones play in his first game against his old team?
  3. How does Brian Boucher play with something to prove after a terrible first outing? It's been awhile, so is there any rust?
  4. Does David Laliberte come back where he left off last week as an NHLer?

Tonight's game is at 10:30 Eastern on CSN Philly and 610 WIP. If you can't stay up, it'll replay on The Comcast Network at 6 AM tomorrow and on CSN at 7 PM tomorrow night. If you're staying up late, come by for some company and join our discussion, and as always, LET'S GO FLYERS!