Kings-Avalanche Preview: home stretch

USA TODAY Sports

The end of the season is in sight, as the Kings head back to Staples Center to welcome the League-worst Avalanche.

Los Angeles Kings v Colorado Avalanche (Staples Center)

Time: 7.30 PM

TV: NHL Network, KCOP-13

Enemy reading: Mile High Hockey

Season series: Game 1: Recap, Stats Breakdown | Game 2: Recap, Stats Breakdown

Avalanche (projected) lineup:

Landeskjog-Duchene-Parenteau
Stastny-O'Reilly-McGinn
Malone-Mitchell-Jones
McLeod-Olver-van der Gulik

Johnson-Hunwick
Zanon-Barrie
Hejda-Elliott

Aittokallio

Injured: Downie (ACL), Wilson (ankle), Hejduk (shoulder), Varlamov (hip); Scratched: O'Brien, Palushaj, Kobasew, Bordeleau

Kings (projected) lineup:

Brown-Kopitar-Williams
Penner-Richards-Carter
King-Stoll-Lewis
Clifford-Richardson-Nolan

Regehr-Doughty
Scuderi-Voynov
Martinez-Ellerby

Quick

Injured: Greene (back), Mitchell (knee); Scratched: Muzzin, Toffoli

Game notes:

  • We could see the NHL debut of young goaltender Sami Aittokallio tonight, as Avalanche starter Semyon Varlamov deals with a hip flexor injury, and the Avs head into the second night of a back-to-back. Hey, do you think he's Finnish?
  • The Avalanche won the first half of that back-to-back, versus the Ducks, rather convincingly. They scored four goals to Anaheim's 1, including a short-handed goal and a power play goal.
  • Jonathan Quick was strong in net versus the Dallas [REDACTED] Stars despite the [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] play of the rest of the team. I would assume that he gets the start again tonight, after a rest day.
  • I'm not sure there's too much point in dwelling on what happened in Dallas, although it was certainly frustrating as hell. While none of the Kings other than Quick deserve any praise for their performances, I also don't think Darryl Sutter will shake the lines up drastically. One lineup change that I do think happens is that Alec Martinez suits up in place of Jake Muzzin, who looked like a tiny lost forest animal out on the ice against the Stars. A tiny lost forest animal with really bad eyebrows.
  • Speaking of defence sort of being the problem: Matt Greene back on the ice, maybe! Exciting!
  • Fun! With! Numbers!:
    Team
    GP
    Points
    ROW
    Goal
    Differential
    Home/Away
    Record
    PP%
    PK%
    Kings (4th, West)
    40 48
    21
    +14
    14-4-1 20.0 (10th)
    81.9 (16th)
    Avalanche (15th, West)
    40 31 12 -31
    3-15-3 14.4 (25th)
    80.6 (20th)
  • This is not going to be a special teams showcase, is what I am saying.
  • Prediction: Kings win 5-2, Shane O'Brien googles Las Vegas dance club reviews in the pressbox, Jean-Sebastien Giguere throws his stick at somebody. Go Kings Go.
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