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Kings-Avs Preview: 1, 2, 3

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Since we last met the Colorado Avalanche...

OUT: Peter Mueller, Mark Olver, Ryan Wilson (head); Matt Duchene (knee). I am bummed, because I love watching him play. For the Kings, Gagne is still out with a concussion.

Game outlook: The Avs are hotter than hell on their win streak. The Kings are hot under Sutter. I've already overused heat-based adjectives in this paragraph. Will the victorious team be like MOLTEN LAVA? Stay tuned!

Richardson-Loktionov-Lewis as a speedy third line was batted around as an idea here before Sutter arrived, then deployed by Stevens in the game against Columbus. Though LA won that game, that line didn't impress, and was broken up in favor of Richardson-Lewis-Hunter against Detroit. The wheels fell of the bus early in that massacre, so it's safe to say that didn't work either.

In Gagne's absence, Sutter shifted Richards to Kopi's wing, kept the Penner-Stoll-Williams line intact, and reunited the speedy kids. Since they scored a key goal against Vancouver, positive feelings abound for Sutter's linemaking genius.

It's going to take more than two games to prove if this particular combo is a good or bad idea, but three scoring lines are essential. In the Murray era, Hunter and Moreau were favored. Right now, I like the emphasis on scoring and speed.