After two frustrating and near-identical losses to the Minnesota Wild, the Los Angeles Kings won’t be getting a break anytime soon. Tonight, they’ll open a two-game series against the Colorado Avalanche, who boast one of the best rosters in the West.
The Avs opened the season facing off against the St. Louis Blues at home in Denver. St. Louis took the first game 4-1, but Colorado came back with a vengeance on Friday with an 8-0 shutout win.
If there are weaknesses the Kings might jump on, it’s that the Avalanche will be playing 11 forwards and seven defenders after losing Andre Burakovsky to an upper-body injury. Not only does that take out a major piece of the Avalanche’s power play, but the 11/7 arrangement could exhaust the top players.
Complicating things is that earlier today, the Avalanche traded defenders with the Minnesota Wild, swapping out Ian Cole for Greg Pateryn, who was just assessed a fine by the NHL Department of Player Safety for an illegal check to the head of Anaheim Ducks forward Sonny Milano. Though the Wild are in Anaheim, Pateryn likely won’t draw into tonight’s lineup.
Lias Andersson will make his debut with the Kings tonight, centering the fourth line. The Kings acquired Andersson from the New York Rangers in exchange for a second-round pick last October.
LOS ANGELES KINGS
Alex Iafallo — Anze Kopitar — Dustin Brown
Andreas Athanasiou — Blake Lizotte — Jeff Carter
Adrian Kempe — Gabriel Vilardi — Austin Wagner
Trevor Moore — Lias Andersson — Carl Grundstrom
Olli Maatta — Drew Doughty
Mikey Anderson — Matt Roy
Kurtis MacDermid — Sean Walker
Expected Scratches: Kale Clague, Michael Amadio
Injured Reserve: Matt Luff (undisclosed), Martin Frk (lower body), Alex Turcotte (lower body)
Gabriel Landeskog — Nathan MacKinnon — Mikko Rantanen
Brandon Saad — Nazem Kadri — Joonas Donskoi
Tyson Jost — J.T. Compher — Valeri Nichushkin
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare — Matt Calvert
Devon Toews — Cale Makar
Ryan Graves — Samuel Girard
Dennis Gilbert — Erik Johnson
Expected Scratches: None
Injured Reserve: Pavel Francouz (lower body), Andre Burakovsky (upper body)
How to Watch
Puck drop is at 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Tonight’s game will be broadcast regionally on Fox Sports West and Altitude and nationally on Sportsnet and NHL Network, as well as available to stream through NHL.tv. or on NHL Network via fuboTV.
Follow along in the comments for live updates and reactions throughout the game!