The New Jersey Devils have been on a slide since going to the Stanley Cup Final in 2012, and coach Pete DeBoer paid the price.
DeBoer, who took the Devils to the championship round against the Kings in his first season, was fired Friday, with his aging and short-handed team in danger of missing the playoffs for a third consecutive season.
Lou Lamoriello, the Devils' president and general manager, won't say who will be the next coach until he speaks Saturday with the players, who are on a three-day Christmas break.
There are a number of potential candidates, including Adam Oates, a former Devils assistant; Dallas Eakins, who was fired earlier this month by Edmonton; and former Penguins coach Dan Bylsma.
Jack Eichel and Chase DeLeo scored in a shootout to help the United States beat defending champion Finland, 2-1, in a round-robin opener in hockey's World Junior Championship at Montreal. Eichel is a freshman at Boston University, and DeLeo plays for Portland in the Western Hockey League.