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Game Day #17, Preview: Los Angeles Kings @ Colorado Avalanche

A list of who isn’t playing in this game might actually be more interesting.

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at Los Angeles Kings Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

(editor’s note: this is Sarah’s first article for Jewels from the Crown. Welcome aboard, Sarah!)

Preview: Los Angeles Kings (7-8-1) @ Colorado Avalanche (6-8-0)

How to Watch and What to Watch For

Notes:

As the Kings wrap up their road trip, the injury-ravaged team is looking to put a halt to their three-game losing streak, featuring two losses that could have gone either way, and one loss against Montreal that is best forgotten about. With untimely injuries adding up and Anze Kopitar not ready to return to action yet, the Kings are relying on one line of speedy scoring forwards and three lines of utility guys to get the job done against the Avalanche. Based on morning skate reports, the Kings are seeing only minor changes to their lines, with Toffoli and Purcell swapping spots. The Brown/Dowd/Setoguchi trio combined for six shots on goal in Winnipeg and have been buzzing around the net, even if they’re not showing up on the scoreboard much.

The Avalanche have injury woes of their own, with Matt Duchene still out with reportedly concussion-like symptoms. The Avs still have enough speed and firepower to overcome the absence of Duchene, but they’re still a young team struggling to adapt to a host of new players, a new coach, and new systems. They’ve lost three of their last five and have been shut out twice already this month. The home ice and familiarity with the altitude may work to their advantage, so look for the Kings to want to get out to an early lead in this one to stifle the Avs’ chances.

Line Combinations:

Los Angeles Kings

Pearson - Carter - Toffoli
King - Lewis - Purcell
Brown - Dowd - Setoguchi
Clifford - Shore - Nolan

Forbort - Doughty
Muzzin - Martinez
Gravel - Gilbert

Budaj
(Campbell)

Colorado Avalanche

Landeskog - MacKinnon - Rantannen
Martinsen - Grigorenko - Iginla
Bourque - Soderberg - Comeau
McLeod - Mitchell - Colborne

Zadorov - Johnson
Wierchioch - Barrie
Beauchemin - Tyutin

Varlamov
(Pickard)

Opposing Preview: Mile High Hockey