To ring in the new year, the Colorado Avalanche (19-13-7) hosts the Los Angeles Kings (15-21-3) at Pepsi Center on Monday. It is the second of three meetings this season between the clubs. They will face each other for a final outing on Jan. 19.
Colorado holds an all-time mark of 37-41-10 against Los Angeles (since 1995-96), which includes a 22-19-1 record at home.
The Avalanche will remain in Denver to wrap up its four-game homestand against the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday and the New York Rangers on Friday.
Last Time Out
In the second matchup in nine days between the teams, the Avalanche fell 3-2 in overtime to the Chicago Blackhawks at Pepsi Center on Saturday. After two quick tallies from Chicago in the first period, Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon each answered to erase the two-goal deficit. The third frame did not see a goal from either team, and the outing ended with Patrick Kane netting the game-winner 41 seconds into overtime on the power play. Goaltender Semyon Varlamov made 34-of-37 saves.
The Kings lost 4-1 to the Vegas Golden Knights at Staples Center on Saturday. Sean Walker and Alex Iafallo assisted on Anze Kopitar's ninth tally of the season, the lone goal for Los Angeles. Both teams recorded 31 shots on net but the Kings outblocked the Knights 17-10. Goaltender Jonathan Quick stopped 28 pucks in the loss.
Last Time They Met
The Avalanche topped the Kings 7-3 in the squads' previous clash on Nov. 21 at Staples Center. Seven different members of the Avalanche scored and thirteen Colorado skaters marked the scoresheet. Alexander Kerfoot posted a three-point performance (three assists) while six Avs recorded two points apiece in the outing. Varlamov stopped 33-of-36 shots to earn his 200th NHL win.
What To Watch
Tyson Barrie recorded his 208th career assist against Chicago on Saturday, becoming the Avalanche/Nordiques franchise all-time leader in helpers by a defenseman. Barrie's 273 career points (65 goals, 208 assists) are two shy of John-Michael Liles' all-time defensive scoring record (275). The defenseman has registered 25 points (four goals, 21 assists) in 35 games this season.
Let's Get Physical
The Avs blocked 18 shots on Saturday to bring their season total to 618. The team ranks second in the NHL and first in the conference for the defensive maneuvers. Ian Cole is responsible for 106 of those blocks and leads the league in the category. Colorado has also recorded 747 hits over 39 games.
Players To Watch
Colorado: Center Tyson Jost
Jost registered two assists in the previous outing against L.A., marking his fourth multi-point performance in the NHL. The center has generated 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in 35 games this season. His three power-play goals rank tied for fifth on the team.
Los Angeles: Right Wing Dustin Brown
Brown leads all Kings skaters with 10 goals this season and is fourth in points with 20 (10 goals, 10 assists). In 50 career outings against Colorado, he has recorded 35 points (15 goals, 20 assists). When the clubs met on Nov. 21, he logged 19:51 of ice time and recorded three shots on net.
After Sunday's practice, Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar announced that goaltender Semyon Varlamov will be between the pipes for Colorado. The Avs also recalled forward Logan O'Connor from the Colorado Eagles of the American Hockey League on Sunday afternoon.
Monday's matchup between the Avalanche and Kings is slated for an earlier start time than usual with game time set for 6 p.m. MT. The contest can be watched live locally on Altitude or streamed on select devices with the Altitude Now app (in market) or NHL.tv (out of market). The radio broadcast can be heard on Altitude Sports Radio FM 92.5 in the Denver area or online at ColoradoAvalanche.com.
Following the conclusion of the game there will be an indoor fireworks show on the Pepsi Center ice. Limited tickets are still available.