Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 1/9/13
The last time the Chicago Blackhawks visited Staples Center, Dustin Brown shook off trade rumors with a hat trick, Jeff Carter made his Kings debut, and Jonathan Quick posted a shutout in a 4-0 Los Angeles victory that represented the tectonic shift between the early season Kings and the Kings that would go on to win the Stanley Cup. I think its just a matter of time before the bounces start going their way and pucks start going in the net, Carter said before his L.A. debut. He was on to something. Carter and the Kings will welcome the Blackhawks back to Staples Center for a banner raising ceremony and the NHL opener on the afternoon of Saturday, Jan. 19, multiple sources reported Wednesday. It marks the first hockey game played in the building since Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final and the wild celebration that erupted into the streets of downtown Los Angeles after the Kings won, 6-1, and defeated the New Jersey Devils in six games. Along the way towards reversing the 45-year history of the franchise, Los Angeles reversed its recent course against Chicago. They finished 3-1 against the Blackhawks in 2011-12 after winning only one of their previous 10 games against Chicago dating back to March 1, 2009. Jonathan Quick started all four games against the Blackhawks last season, at one point compiling a 175:59 scoreless streak against the 2010 Stanley Cup winners. The Kings are amongst the strongest Cup contenders in the abbreviated 48-game 2013 season, which will see teams play either four or five games against divisional opponents and two or three teams against other conference opponents. There will be no inter-conference play. Because of the tight schedule, injuries to key players will have a much larger implication than injuries in a traditional, 82-game schedule. Star center Anze Kopitar, who sprained his MCL in his final game playing for Mora IK in Sweden hours before the lockout ended talk about poor luck would be highly questionable for the opener. Hes expected to miss two to three weeks. Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and Jarret Stoll are all candidates to absorb minutes at center should Kopitar miss any time. 20-year-old top prospect Tyler Toffoli also has a chance to earn a roster spot with Kopitars uncertainty. He has excelled in his first long professional look, tallying 26 points in 34 games for Manchester of the AHL. Other than Kopitars potential absence, the Kings are poised to return their entire Cup-winning lineup. In preparation for the season, Los Angeles will host a press conference at Staples Center at 4 p.m. PT Thursday, with appearances by governor Tim Lieweke, presidentgeneral manager Dean Lombardi, president, business operations Luc Robitaille and head coach Darryl Sutter. The event will be carried live on FOX Sports West and FOXSportsWest.com.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Kevin Love: Shoulder injury ‘just a stinger’

Nets’ Joe Johnson would ‘welcome’ a trade

Report: Grizzlies want Kevin Durant in free agency

WATCH: Karl-Anthony Towns throws down monster dunk

Dos Anjos: McGregor will 'break like a girl' at UFC 196

WATCH: D'Angelo Russell hit in groin by LeBron pass

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Kobe Bryant has great response to Tyronn Lue story

Report: St. Louis Blues no longer interested in Jonathan Drouin

Doc Rivers: Warriors have 'swagger' of defending champion

Damian Lillard added as a finalist for 2016 U.S. Olympic Team

Celtics legend Paul Pierce prepares for what ‘could be’ his last game in Boston

Free-agent WR Josh Morgan accidentally shot himself, charged with crime

Fighter says sex before fight partly to blame for loss

Kevin McHale: James Harden being out of shape hurt Rockets early

WATCH: Kevin Love re-injures left shoulder

Johnny Manziel’s grandpa on ex-girlfriend: ‘The girl has her problems’

Andy Dalton reunited with missing luggage thanks to social media

Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson used to soak his ankles in urine

Why Tom Thibodeau needs to be in New York

Defensemen in high demand as NHL trade deadline looms

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Security guard indicted for assaulting University of Houston football fan

The LeBron-Kobe rivalry and Finals matchup that never was

Mario Williams recognizes Bills may release him

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker