AVALANCHE (36-30-12) at KINGS (38-25-14)
7:00PM PT, TV: FOX SPORTS WEST; RADIO: AM 790 KABC
AVALANCHE WATCH: Tonight marks the third and final meeting with the Avalanche this season; the Kings have been victorious in their previous two matchups, winning 4-1 on February 18 and 5-2 on March 10 – both games at the Pepsi Center. The Avalanche are finishing a three-game road trip tonight; they’re coming off of a 4-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night. The Kings are finishing their two-game home stand tonight; they’re coming off of a 8-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night.
DESPERATION STATION: Colorado, which is coming off of a pair of wins in San Jose and Anaheim, find themselves six points out of a playoff spot with four games remaining on their regular season schedule. The Avalanche likely cannot afford to lose any of their remaining games for a shot at a playoff berth, meaning they will be gunning for two points tonight. The Kings have outscored the Avalanche 9-3 in their two meetings this season; can they lay a crushing blow to Colorado’s playoff hopes by sweeping the season series tonight?
UPDATE (2:45 PST):
The Colorado Avalanche have officially been eliminated from playoff contention with the Winnipeg Jets' 5-4 victory over the Vancouver Canucks this afternoon.
LINEUP NOTES: Per Jon Rosen, who attended the Kings’ morning skate at the Toyota Sports Center, there are expected to be no changes to their lineup from Thursday night. Mike Richards, Andy Andreoff, and Jamie McBain are expected to be healthy scratches; Jonathan Quick is expected to start in net.
GABORIK – KOPITAR – WILLIAMS
KING – CARTER – TOFFOLI
BROWN – STOLL – LEWIS
CLIFFORD – SHORE – NOLAN
(PEARSON – RICHARDS – ANDREOFF)
MUZZIN – DOUGHTY
REGEHR – MARTINEZ
MCNABB – GREENE
PLAYOFF PICTURE: The Kings enter the night with 90 points in the standings, tied with the Winnipeg Jets for the Western Conference’s second and final wild-card spot. The Kings are one point behind the Calgary Flames for the Pacific Division’s third and final playoff berth. Can the Kings keep pace in the playoff push and grab another two points tonight against the Avalanche?
THE LAST TIME AROUND: In Colorado’s previous visit to STAPLES Center on Decmber 21 of last season, the Kings beat the Avalanche 3-2 in a shootout. Jeff Carter and Justin Williams scored in the first and second periods, but Colorado clawed back to tie the game with a pair of power play goals. The game extended to a shootout, where Anze Kopitar secured the win as the only player to find the net. Martin Jones made 23 saves in the win.
KOPITAR ON CUE
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Catch the KINGS LIVE pregame show at 6:30PM PT on FOX SPORTS WEST, followed with Bob and Jim on the live play-by-play call from STAPLES Center just prior to puck drop at 7:00.