Tonight marks the third and final meeting with the Avalanche this season, and Colorado’s second and final visit to STAPLES Center. The Avalanche are playing the final of a three-game road trip where they’ve done 1-1-0 so far; they’re coming off of a 6-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night. The Kings are home for a one-game stint, they’re coming off of a 3-2 OT win over the San Jose Sharks on Sunday night.
LINEUP: The Kings held an optional morning skate at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo in anticipation of tonight’s game. Andy Andreoff and Jamie McBain remained on the ice for extra work and are expected to be tonight’s healthy scratches. Jonathan Quick left the ice first and will start in net. The lines the team skated with during Tuesday practice are expected to be used tonight.
LUCIC – KOPITAR – TOFFOLI
GABORIK – CARTER – BROWN
KING – LECAVALIER – LEWIS
PEARSON – SHORE – NOLAN
MCNABB – DOUGHTY
MUZZIN – MARTINEZ
EHRHOFF – SCHENN
BREAKING RECORDS AT THE BREAK: Tonight marks the Kings’ final game before the All-Star break, with the NHL’s annual festivities set to take place this weekend in Nashville. The Kings, 30-15-3, reached the 30-win plateau in their 48th game of the season Sunday night, the fastest the team has ever gotten to 30 wins in a single season in franchise history. Can the Kings add another win, two points to their remarkable start tonight against Colorado?
THE LAST TIME AROUND: The Kings are 1-1-0 against Colorado this season. In the teams’ first meeting on October 18 at STAPLES Center, the Kings beat the Avalanche 2-1; Tyler Toffoli scored the game-winning goal while Jonathan Quick made 22 saves on 23 shots. On January 4 at the Pepsi Center, the Kings fell 4-1 to Colorado; Tyler Toffoli scored the Kings’ lone goal while Jhonas Enroth stopped 29 of the 33 shots he faced.
PICKARD BETWEEN THE PIPES: With goaltender Semyon Varlamov out due to legal matters, the Avalanche will start backup Calvin Pickard tonight. Pickard will be making just his fifth start of the season; he’s 2-2-0 with a .926 SV% and a 2.48 GAA and is coming off of a loss to the San Jose Sharks Tuesday night where he allowed four goals on 20 shots faced and was pulled after two periods of play. Pickard has made one career start against the Kings, coming on March 10 of last season, surrendering three goals on eight shots, pulled after 14:15 minutes of play.
POINTS APLENTY: The Kings have won three straight games against the Colorado Avalanche on home ice at STAPLES Center, and have earned points in six straight (5-0-1). Dating back to October of 2008, the Kings have earned points in 12 of Colorado’s last 13 visits to Los Angeles (9-1-3), their only regulation loss during that span coming on January 21, 2012.
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Tonight’s game will be broadcast live on the NBC Sports, with coverage starting just prior to puck drop at 7:30 PM PST. As always, you can listen to the Kings’ very own Nick Nickson and Daryl Evans call the action live over the radio airwaves on AM 790 KABC.