A few updates this morning, Insiders.
Per Todd McLellan, the Alexes – Edler & Iafallo – will not be available this evening in Nashville, so we’ll expect at least one change among the skaters.
Cal Petersen will start in goal.
— Zach Dooley (@DooleyLAK) October 18, 2022
Kings Head Coach Todd McLellan shared this morning that neither defenseman Alex Edler nor forward Alex Iafallo would play tonight in Nashville. Edler missed yesterday’s game after he took a puck to the face during warmups in Detroit, while Iafallo left the game in the third period with a lower-body injury. Edler remains on the active roster as of this time, while Iafallo has been placed on injured reserve as of this morning. A distinction that Iafallo is on injured reserve, not LTIR, meaning the Kings free up a roster spot but not any additional salary cap space, though that it not an issue at this time. It also means that Iafallo can be activated sooner than were he to be placed on LTIR. We’ll see how his situation progresses over the coming days.
Additionally, the Kings have recalled defenseman Jacob Moverare from the AHL’s Ontario Reign. Moverare is expected to meet the team here in Nashville today. With Edler out at least for the immediate future, meaning tonight’s game, the Kings have just one left-handed shooting defenseman – Mikey Anderson – on the active roster. Not that it necessarily means they NEEDED to call up a left-shot blueliner specifically, but Moverare was the final defenseman sent down after training camp so it stands to reason that he would be the individual who gets the first call. With the Kings carrying two, capable forward options as extras, recalling a defenseman in the interim made more sense at this time. Without Edler and Iafallo this evening, the Kings will have 13 forwards and seven defensemen at their disposal versus the Predators tonight. We’ll reassess the situation heading into Pittsburgh on Thursday, a lot can change between now and then!
In Moverare, the Kings are adding a reliable and trusting option on the backend, a safe and steady game from the 24-year-old defenseman. In his first campaign at the NHL level, when he appeared in 19 games with the Kings, Moverare played a low-event style of hockey that rarely hurt the Kings, especially during a time when several other defensemen were out of action with injury. Moverare posted the best GA/60 rate (1.51) amongst players with at least 250 minutes at 5-on-5 last season, a testament to his defense-first brand of hockey. As we saw last season, the Kings have no issue with playing Moverare in a third-pairing role against any opposition, with the Swede playing meaningful games later in the season as the Kings pushed for the playoffs, even as others returned to availability.
From the team’s official release –
Moverare, 24, began the 2022-23 season with the Reign, going scoreless in two appearances. Last season, the 6-3, 210-pound defenseman skated in 19 games with the Kings after making his NHL debut on Jan. 6 against the Nashville Predators. He finished with two points (0-2=2), a plus-3 rating, and an average of 16:20 time-on-ice, which ranked fourth-most among Kings rookie blueliners. In 30 games with the Reign, Moverare posted 10 points (3-7=10) and a plus-6 rating. Originally drafted by the Kings in the fourth round (112th overall) of the 2016 NHL Draft, Moverare has skated in parts of three seasons (2020-22) with the Reign, appearing in 58 games and recording 25 points (4-21=25) ).
Iafallo, 28, had extended his season-opening point streak (2-3=5) to four games before leaving last night’s game due to injury late in the third period. At the time of his injury, he was one of five players in the NHL to hold such an active point streak through the first four games of the 2022-23 NHL season. With an assist on Gabriel Vilardi’s first period goal last night in Detroit, the 6-0, 200-pound forward registered his 100th career assist, making him the 15th undrafted active skater in the NHL to reach such mark. Signed by the Kings as a free agent on April 19, 2017, Iafallo has registered 173 points (73-100=173) in 365 regular-season appearances with the Kings. He has also skated in 10 Stanley Cup playoff games, tallying five points (2-3=5).
The Kings, in the midst of a five-game road trip, return to action tonight against the Nashville Predators. Puck drop at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville is scheduled for 8:30 pm CT (6:30 pm PT) and will be broadcast live on ESPN and iHeart Radio Network.
McLellan also shared that Cal Petersen would start in goal tonight here in Nashville on the second half of the back-to-back set. No surprises there. More to follow in today’s game preview, which will include information on how the Kings might opt to replace Iafallo in the lineup, the second line yesterday evening and how players are working their way back to form and the team’s plan heading into its first back- to-back of the season, with an aim of replicating last season’s success in such situations.