Kings Roster Notes: (IN) Jonathan Quick (2.21 GAA, .919 SV%), Oscar "Man Viking" Moller, Brad Richardson. (OUT) Kevin Westgarth, Peter Harrold, Davis Drewiske. Injured: Justin Williams, Scott Parse.
Avs Roster Notes: (IN) Peter Budaj (3.27 GAA, .892 SV%), Milan Hejduk, Mark Olver. (OUT) Peter Mueller (concussion), Tomas Fleischmann (blood clots), Kyle Quincey (shoulder), Kyle Cumiskey (whiplash), T.J. Galiardi (arm), Adam Foote (foot).
Goal scoring hasn't been a problem for the Avs all year; their main problems have been keeping the puck out of their net and dealing with waves of injuries. Though they no longer have a shot at the playoffs, Colorado is looking to embrace the spoiler role. Leading scorer Matt Duchene has also pulled out of his slump in a big way: he has 5 goals and 4 assists in a magnificent 6 game streak. Any team that doesn't come ready to play them is stupid.
Terry Murray wants more goal production, and for that, the Kings will need to (surprise!) go to the dangerous areas of the ice more often and shoot. Kent Wilson over at Flames Nation makes a point that many have echoed before: the Kings spend too much time on the perimeter. While the Flames' physical defense generally gives them trouble, it's still been part of a pattern -- especially in the third period, when they fall back into a defensive shell. (PS, if you haven't added Copper & Blue to your reading list yet, you should. Scott Reynolds has been tracking Kings' scoring chances in the past couple of weeks, and we should all thank him.)
On a positive note, Dustin Brown was on fire against the Sharks -- just the kind of Dustin we need. Oscar Moller and Alec Martinez also had a nice game. TM will undoubtedly look to get more from Kopitar and Penner, so we'll see what they have going forward.
Every game is as important as a playoff contest at this point. 92 points would keep them in fifth, and also allow them to make up some ground against Phoenix with games in hand.