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Friday, December 3, 2021

Kings 2021-22 preview: 5 can’t-miss games to watch this season

With the NHL returning to their standard alignment, the Kings will return to play a full 82-game schedule with strong travel in the Pacific Division and at least one meeting with each team in the league. The King’s Slate will include two seven-game homestands and a break for the Winter Olympics in China.

Here are five dates to round up the calendar for the upcoming season, which begins on Thursday night when the Kings host the Vegas Golden Knights.

October 19, Nashville Predators

The game would mark the return of winger Victor Arvidsson, who had spent his entire career with Nashville before the Kings acquired him in exchange for draft picks. Predators goalkeeper Pekka Rinne retired over the summer, but defenseman Roman Josie could still put on a show.

Newly acquired legends Philippe Danault and Alex Adler will also return to their previous homes at the start of the season. The Kings would visit Montreal, where Danault played in last year’s Stanley Cup Final on 9 November and Vancouver, where Adler went to the 2011 final and played on 6 December for 15 seasons.

November 20, VS. carolina hurricane

Inter-conference matchups can sometimes lack the intensity of divisional games, but coach Rod Brind’Amour’s storms rarely leave fans up for effort. Two fast, young, keen teams will clash with the Hurricanes already building a talented roster of break-neck tempo, strong identity and mostly homegrown talent, which the Kings have sought to do on their timeline.

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January. 20, VS. Colorado Avalanche

The Avalanche dominated the Kings to such an extent that no team had done so in the previous season, winning seven of their eight meetings, including the final two games of the season by a combined score of 11–1. In addition to being a measuring stick for a developing Kings club, Colorado boasts entertainment value with explosive Nathan McKinnon as well as core players Gabriel Landeskog and Kale Makar, both of whom signed contract extensions over the summer.

April 4, VS. Calgary Flames

With a slight easing of travel restrictions, three Canadian teams return to the Pacific Division, including Calgary, which brings winger Matthew Tkachuk in tow. In an era of free agency and friendship between teams, the rivalry between Takachuk and Drew Doughty marks a return to the more controversial days. Former Kings coach Darryl Sutter, who led the franchise to their two Stanley Cup titles, will be behind the bench in this final meeting of the season between the two sides.

April 27, at Seattle Kraken

The Kings make their first visit to the Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle on January 15 and host the expansion Kraken twice in March, but this final meeting could be big. This is the final game of the Kings season, with both the rebuilt Kings and the nascent Kraken eyeing a playoff berth in a division ripe for the Ascension.

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