TORONTO, Canada — It will spoil the story lines for a lot of reporters here, but it appears that Martin Jones will start in goal for the Kings on Wednesday night at Air Canada Center instead of former Maple Leaf Ben Scrivens.
Much of the talk in advance of the Kings' visit Wednesday had centered on the potential matchup between Scrivens and Jonathan Bernier, who were traded for each other last summer. But Jones, coming off back-to-back shutouts and riding a three-game winning streak, was the first goalie off the ice at Wednesday's morning skate and Scrivens stayed on long afterward to do some extra work.
"I don't make those decisions," Scrivens said when asked if he had expected to play. "It's a coaching decision and Jones is playing great."
Jones, a rookie, has stopped 73 of 75 shots over three games, a save percentage of .973. His goals-against average is 0.65.
Bernier is still scheduled to start for Toronto. He has a record of 9-8-2 with a 2.49 goals-against average and .929 save percentage in 20 games this season.
Jones has started the Kings' last three games, defeating the Ducks in a nine-round shootout before blanking the New York Islanders and making history by stopping 31 shots in the Kings' first-ever shutout of the Canadiens on Tuesday at Montreal, a 6-0 rout. Statisticians initially credited him with 30 saves but added another save later; you know a goalie is playing well when he gets a save long after he has left the arena.
"The way they keep shots, who knows," Kings captain Dustin Brown said. "But he made all the saves he needed to. The first period was the key for him in the last game, especially on the [Montreal] power play. He made the kind of saves that allowed us to weather the storm and play the game we wanted to play."
Kings Coach Darryl Sutter wasn't available for comment after the morning skate, but he never identifies his starter, anyway.
Scrivens said it was "weird" to come back here and walk into the visitors' locker room instead of the home team's. "But that's life as a hockey player," he said. "It's pretty rare to spend your whole career with one team."
The rest of the Kings' lineup is likely to stay the same as it was in Montreal. Defenseman Matt Greene, who was activated off injured reserve on Tuesday but didn't dress for the game, stayed out on the ice for a long work session Wednesday and isn't expected to play.