Friday Knight

RYAN PYETTE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:42 AM ET

LONDON KNIGHTS (40-15-1-2) vs. WINDSOR SPITFIRES (51-6-0-1)

WHEN: Tonight, 7:30 p.m. at the John Labatt Centre.

THE MATCHUP: It's Round 2 after both stocked up at the trade deadline. Two weeks ago in London, Windsor's Russian import Andrei Loktionov scored the winner on a long-distance slapper with 4:02 left in a 4-3 contest. The league-leading Spits have won all four meetings this season. After tonight, they play one more time, March 8 at the WFCU Centre in Windsor.

WHO TO WATCH: London -- F Justin Taylor. The do-it-all Washington prospect recently went nine games without scoring but followed with four goals in three wins last weekend. He's in front of the net on the power play and he's the first guy Dale Hunter sends out when his team is two men short; Windsor -- F Taylor Hall. The projected first overall pick in the 2010 NHL draft got John Tavares with a mighty check behind the net two weeks ago and knocked the sniper out early. Hall, Sarnia's Justin DiBenedetto and Belleville's Eric Tangradi are the only players who still have a shot at tracking down Tavares for the OHL scoring title but they need to start piling up the points.

CHASING HISTORY: It's up to the Knights to preserve their own OHL team records. If London beats Windsor in their two final meetings, it will keep these Spits from overtaking the 2004-05 Memorial Cup champion's league record of 59 wins and 120 points. Of course, it will always be difficult to compare since those Knights played in the preshootout era and recorded two ties that year.

BACK UP TOP: London F Phil McRae gave his team its best shot at beating Windsor two weeks ago with an early go-ahead goal in the third period. After a gorgeous pass by Kevin Montgomery, the St. Louis Blues second-rounder beat Andrew Engelage on a nifty backhand move he also used to score in last Friday's shootout win over Erie and goalie Shane Owen. "I've watched some guys in the NHL do it," McRae said. "Henrik Zetterberg (of the Detroit Red Wings) likes to do that move. I talk to goalies about what to use and they always say the backhand is the hardest shot to read off the stick."

HOCKEY FAMILY TREE: Knights assistant coach Pat Curcio is engaged to Jackie Ayres of Delhi, who's related to Windsor GM Warren Rychel. Will that make for some uncomfortable family dinners if the Knights knock out the Spitfires, or vice versa? Nah, everyone's cool with it. "Warren and I have joked about it a lot," Curcio said.

HOUSE OF PINK: The Knights ask fans to dress in pink at next Friday's game against Erie to support breast cancer awareness. The team will wear commemorative pink jerseys that will go up for auction on www.londonknights.com immediately after the game. Proceeds will be sent to A Rose in My Book, an organization supporting the London Regional Cancer Program, and Champions for Grace (Massel-Cruickshank Fund), which provides short-term assistance for men and women battling breast cancer.

ALUMNI UPDATE: Former Sarnia Sting F Steve Stamkos got his first NHL hat trick Tuesday but two former Knights spoiled it. Pat Kane had a goal and three points while David Bolland bagged the winner with 7:14 left in the third period for a 5-3 Chicago win over Tampa Bay.

AFTER THE BUZZER: The Knights face potential playoff foe Sarnia for the final time this regular season on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the JLC. Windsor doesn't play again until Thursday at home against Kitchener.


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