Los Angeles Kings Look To Keep Rolling Against The Colorado Avalanche

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The Los Angeles Kings will look to keep rolling and keep the playoff push going when the host the Colorado Avalanche at Staples Center tonight.  Puck-drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. PST.

L.A. is coming off an 8-2 statement win over the Edmonton Oilers.  On the same night the Kings got some help.  The St. Louis Blues downed the Calgary Flames 4-1, denying Calgary any points.  The Chicago Blackhawks also dropped the Vancouver Canucks 3-1, halting Vancouver’s move up the standings.

The Kings are currently in 4th in the Pacific Division and 9th in the Western Conference.

Colorado enters tonight’s game on their high-horse after defeating the Pacific Division champs, the Anaheim Ducks, 4-2 last night in Anaheim.

In their last meeting the Kings downed the Avalanche 5-2 in Colorado.  Tonight will be the first game between the two teams at Staples Center this season.  The first meeting was a Kings 4-1 win in Denver on February 18th.

The Kings lineup is expected to be as follows:

Los Angeles Kings
Los Angeles Kings /

Los Angeles Kings

Forwards:

Marian Gaborik – Anze Kopitar – Justin Williams

Dwight King – Jeff Carter – Tyler Toffoli

Dustin Brown – Jarret Stoll – Trevor Lewis

Kyle Clifford – Nick Shore – Jordan Nolan

Defensemen:

Jake Muzzin – Drew Doughty

Robyn Regehr – Alec Martinez

Brayden McNabb – Matt Greene

Goaltenders:

Jonathan Quick

Martin Jones

Quick to start again.

Jeff Carter had 2 goals in the Kings last game against Edmonton.  Carter is at 28 on the season now, he could become the Kings first 30-goal scorer this season.  L.A. needs him to put the puck in the net.

In his last 5 games Carter has 3 goals and 5 points.  That’s what the Kings need out of That 70’s Line.

Mike Richards and Andrej Sekera are both expected to miss their second straight game.

Nick Shore will play on the fourth line in Richards place, and Jarret Stoll will center the third line between Dustin Brown and Trevor Lewis.

Stoll will dress for his second straight game after returning from an undisclosed upper-body injury.  In 68 games this season Stoll has 6 goals 10 assists, 16 points, +4 plus/minus, 3 power-play goals and 2 game-winning goals.

According to the L.A. Time Lisa Dillman Sekera isn’t expected to play for the remainder of the playoffs.

The team hasn’t released any specific information on the nature of the injury, but Sekera was seen walking with a brace on his right knee.

Apparently the depth in the Kings defense just became a little more shallow.

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  • Avalanche players to watch out for:

    Ryan O’Reilly has 15 goals, 38 assists and 53 points putting him at 4th on the team.  O’Reilly has 4 points in his last five games.  The Colorado forward is big, loves to play a hard physical game, and he can score.

    It’s a bit of a down year, in terms of met expectations, for O’Reilly.  Though that could be said of many players donning the Avalanche uniform.  Despite the poor season O’Reilly will bring his best tonight, he’s not the type of player or person who ever turns it down.

    Matt Duchene is another Colorado star that’s had an ok season.

    Recently however Duchene is on a tear.  In his last 5 games Duchene has 3 goals and 7 points.  The Kings need to keep an eye on him and make sure that scoring streak ends tonight.

    Duchene has 21 goals, 53 points, +5 plus/minus, 2 power-play goals and 4 game-winners in 78 games.  Duchene is shifty and good with the puck.  Clearly, he can set his teammates up to score.  If L.A. isn’t aware when he’s on the ice, Duchene can hurt them on the scoreboard, and we can’t have that.

    Colorado has 4 20-goal scorers, which is more than the Kings.  L.A. needs to force Colorado to play Kings hockey; L.A. can’t get caught-up in a run-and-gun game.  The Kings have had too much trouble scoring and they can’t afford to get sucked in and break discipline.  Not with a playoff race this tight.

    The Kings have beaten up on the Avs all season.  Let’s see more of that tonight.

    This afternoon the Winnipeg Jets beat the Canucks 5-4 in regulation.  That puts the Kings back on the outside looking in.  The Kings are 1 point behind the Calgary Flames and 2 behind the Jets.

    L.A. needs to keep winning, and they need to take advantage of a banged up Colorado team that is playing in back-to-back nights.

    Go Kings Go!

    Mar 10, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Los Angeles Kings right wing Marian Gaborik (12) and Colorado Avalanche defenseman Brad Stuart (17) battle for control of the puck in the first period at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports