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Preview: Game Day #78, Avalanche @ Kings

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Five games to go.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado Avalanche @ Los Angeles Kings (Staples Center)

Time: 7:00 PM PST

TV: Fox Sports West, SportsNet, Altitude

Enemy Reading: Mile High Hockey

Lineups:

Los Angeles Kings

Gaborik–Kopitar–Williams
King–Carter–Toffoli
Brown–Stoll–Lewis
Clifford–Shore–Nolan

Muzzin–Doughty
Regehr–Martinez
McNabb–Greene

Quick
(Jones)

Scratched: Richards, McBain, Andreoff; Injured: Pearson, Sekera; Suspended: Voynov

Colorado Avalanche

Mitchell–Duchene–Iginla
Landeskog–O'Reilly–Tanguay
McLeod–Cliche– Everberg
Caron–Hamilton–Hishon

Guenin–Barrie
Hejda–Redmond
Stuart–Holden

Varlamov
(Berra)

Scratched: None; Injured: MacKinnon, Briere, Winchester, Wilson, Johnson, McGinn, Rendulic, Bordeleau


Obligatory Standings Update (as of April 4, 2015)


Pacific Division Standings
Rank Team DIV GP W L OT P ROW
1 Anaheim P 80
50
23 7 107
42
2 Vancouver P 79 45
29 5
95 40
3 Calgary P 78 42
29 7 91
38
4 Los Angeles P 77
38 25 14 90
36
5 San Jose P 78 39 30
9
87 35

Wild Card Standings
Rank Team DIV GP W L OT P ROW
1 Minnesota C 77 44 26 7 95 40
2 Winnipeg C 78
40
26 12 92
33
3 Los Angeles P 77
38 25 14 90
36
4 San Jose P 78 39 30
9
87 35
5 Dallas C 78 37 31
10 84 33
6 Colorado C 78 36 30
12 84
27

(top three seeds in Pacific Division, top two seeds in Wild Card qualify for playoffs)

Game Notes:

  • When was the last time LA played a game in which they were only the second-most desperate team? Colorado probably is getting eliminated regardless of whether they win or lose (Calgary's got Edmonton tonight, ugh), but considering a regulation loss takes them out, they'll go all out tonight.
  • Semyon Varlamov starts against LA for the second time this year; in the first, he was wildly outplayed by Jonathan Quick, who stopped 42 of 43 shots on February 18.
  • The Avs are coming off a win over Anaheim last night; they were outshot 37-23, but got two-point nights from Matt Duchene, Dennis Everberg, and Tyson Barrie.
  • Barrie's two assists were rather noteworthy, as they got him to 51 points for the season. He's the fourth Avs defenseman to crack the half-century mark in a seasn; the last one to do it before him had his number retired earlier this year.
  • Jarret Stoll and Brayden McNabb returned to the lineup on Thursday, and both put in decent showings! Stoll and McNabb tied for the team lead in score-close Corsi, along with Matt Greene (McNabb's partner). Stoll also had an assist.
  • Mike Richards sits again.
  • Fun fact from Jon Rosen's preview: Jeff Carter has 13 points in 14 games vs. Colorado. 12 of those 13 points are goals.
  • In reality, Colorado has no chance to make the playoffs. Do they know it? Regardless, it'll be a stiffer test than the Oilers offered on Thursday. (Poor Scrivens, and yes, poor Bunz.)
  • By the way, Winnipeg beat Vancouver today, which is annoying for LA's overall playoff push but makes the Pacific Division interesting if both the Flames and Kings triumph tonight.
  • PREDICTION: The Kings manage to win with fewer than eight goals.