Matt Villalta, Ontario Reign

The Ontario Reign looks to end their four-game road swing with a second straight win in Bakersfield against the Condors on Tuesday.

With their shootout win over the Bakersfield Condors on Saturday, the Ontario Reign will try to make it two in a row against their Pacific Division rivals on Tuesday night. It’ll be the fourth meeting between the two teams with Ontario winning each of the first three.

Ontario enters the game in second place in the division with a 12-4-0-1 record while Bakersfield sits in seventh place at 6-6-1-2.

Tale of the Tape


ONT: 24.7% (2nd)

BAK: 20.9% (7th)

Penalty Kill

ONT: 74.0% (30th)

BAK: 79.3% (21st)

Goals Per Game

ONT: 4.00

BAK: 2.73

Goals Against Per Game

ONT: 3.00

BAK: 3.01

Key Players

ONT: Martin Frk – 10 goals, 12 assists, 22 points (1.29 points per game)

BAK: Seth Griffith – 6 goals, 12 assists, 18 points (1.20 points per game)

Here are three things to watch for on Saturday:

1. Slow down Seth

In the three games the Reign and Condors have played, Seth Griffith has four goals – three have which have come on the power-play. The Condors have the seventh-best power-play this season and Griffith is a big part of that. He is tied for the AHL lead in goals with the man-advantage with five.

With Ontario having one of the league’s worst penalty kills, it’ll be important to limit the chances Griffith has with the extra man. Bakersfield has power-play goals in each of the three games against the Reign (3/15, 20%).

2. Back to 12

Last Saturday was a busy day of transactions for the Los Angeles Kings organization. The Reign lost four forwards out of their potential lineup for the last game against Bakersfield when T.J. Tynan and Jaret Anderson-Dolan were called up to the Kings. Austin Wagner was serving his one-game suspension and Alex Turcotte missed the game with an injury. Though they saw the return of Akil Thomas, the team was forced to play with 11 forwards.

They’ll be back to 12 for this one. Though Tynan and JAD are still with the Kings, Wagner will be available and potentially Turcotte though the severity of his injury is unknown.

Speaking of forwards, top prospect Quinton Byfield was activated off of the injured list and sent down to the Ontario Reign. It remains to be seen when he will make his season debut, but the returns of him and Thomas are certainly exciting for an already dangerous lineup.

3. Heating up?

In addition to the already-hot Gabriel Vilardi – who has two goals and three assists in five games and has been Ontario’s best forward since joining the team – Tyler Madden is inserting himself into the discussion again. He started the season playing very well but didn’t get much puck luck as he hit several posts and struggled to have pucks find the back of the net.

He was still able to muster four points in his first six games of the season but recorded just two in his next seven games. The American-born winger went without a single goal during those seven games, but things have turned around of late. He has had four goals in his past four games, including one last Saturday against the Condors.

With so much talk about the prospect pool for the Kings, Madden has been one that hasn’t garnered quite as much attention. I think his play this season has warranted some better results, but he’s continued to press on and has been rewarded recently. He has the luxury of playing with excellent centers while in Ontario. Be it Tynan, Turcotte, Anderson-Dolan – or perhaps now Thomas and Byfield – he should have plenty of opportunities to put more pucks in the net the rest of the season.

Puck drop is 6:30 p.m. PT on Tuesday and can be seen on AHLTV.

UPDATE: Game has been postponed.

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