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    Top 6 Kings games to watch this season
    • October 10, 2023

    Kings hockey is back, beginning with Wednesday’s nationally televised season opener on TNT against the Colorado Avalanche at 7 p.m. from Arena.

    That’ll be the first must-see match of the campaign with half a dozen more to follow, as the black and silver march toward what they hope will be a third consecutive postseason appearance and their first playoff series victory since 2014.

    Nov. 2 at Ottawa Senators

    The Kings and Senators have had few common threads historically, playing in different conferences on opposite sides of the Canadian border after entering the NHL a quarter-century apart. But of late their paths have intertwined frequently. Ottawa selected its leading scorer, Tim Stützle, one pick behind where the Kings took Quinton Byfield in 2020. The Senators also snagged a desired trade target for the Kings, Jacob Chychrun, at last year’s deadline. Then, during the summer, the Kings saw their netminder in last year’s playoffs, Joonas Korpisalo, sign with the Sens, and they proceeded to strike a deal with Ottawa’s go-to goalie last season, Cam Talbot.

    Dec. 13 vs. Winnipeg Jets

    In another whirlwind of arrivals and departures, the Kings will welcome the Jets and the visitors will surely have no difficulty navigating the underbelly of Arena. Former Kings Gabe Vilardi, Alex Iafallo and Rasmus Kupari can surely show their new teammates the way, and, depending which route they take, they might even pass the Kings’ dressing room and one-time Jet Pierre-Luc Dubois on the way. (The Kings will also welcome other former teammates: Sean Durzi and the Arizona Coyotes on Oct. 24, as well as Sean Walker and the Philadelphia Flyers on Nov. 11).

    Dec. 28 at Vegas Golden Knights

    The Kings play the defending Stanley Cup champions only three times, not four, during this regular season. This final meeting between the two sides might represent a nice opportunity to sneak off to Las Vegas ahead of New Year’s Eve to boot. On the ice, the Kings and Golden Knights missed out on a second-round series last season, but made up for lost time by intensifying their rivalry a bit during this year’s preseason, thanks to a big hit by since-waived right wing Hayden Hodgson on Vegas captain Mark Stone.

    Jan. 20 vs. New York Rangers

    This game will represent Jonathan Quick’s first game in the same building where he twice lifted the Stanley Cup and once caressed the Conn Smythe Trophy since he was sent away unceremoniously at last year’s trade deadline. Quick was traded to Columbus and then Vegas, where he got his name on the Cup for a third time. The final Golden Knights-Kings game was in Vegas last season, so Connecticut native Quick’s visit with the object of his boyhood affection, the Rangers, will be Southern California fans’ first chance to let him feel the love on Figueroa.

    March 19 vs. Chicago Blackhawks

    There won’t be any rematches of conference finals past between the rebuilding Blackhawks and ascending Kings, but this matchup is all about two words: Connor Bedard. This year’s No. 1 overall pick is the odds-on favorite to win the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year and has become the mostly highly touted prospect since …

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    March 28 at Edmonton Oilers

    Connor McDavid, who turned back the clock to the ’90s with his gaudy scoring numbers, No. 2 scorer Leon Draisaitl and the Oilers have been appreciative and respectful of the opportunity the Kings have provided them to strengthen their resolve and toughen their roster. They have cause and comfort for such magnanimity, because they’ve eliminated the Kings in each of the past two postseasons. This final clash will come after the trade deadline and provide a measuring stick for two teams who could easily end up facing each other in the playoffs for a third consecutive year.

    ​ Orange County Register