KINGS (31-21-13) at AVALANCHE (30-25-11)
6:00PM PT, TV: NBC SPORTS NETWORK; RADIO: AM 790 KABC
DENVER DOIN’: Tonight marks the second of three meetings against the Avalanche this season; the Kings beat Colorado 4-1 on February 18 at the Pepsi Center. The Avalanche have won three straight games, and are beginning a three-game home stand tonight; they’re coming off of a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on Sunday. The Kings are starting a quick two-game road trip tonight; they’re coming off of a 1-0 OT loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.
LINEUP NOTES: Per Jon Rosen, who attended today’s morning skate at the Pepsi Center, Jamie McBain, Andy Andreoff, and Nick Shore remained on the ice for extra work with Martin Jones. Shore skated alongside Kyle Clifford and Dustin Brown during Monday’s practice, so it is expected that he will be inserted into tonight’s lineup. Jonathan Quick will get the start in net.
GABORIK – KOPITAR – KING
LEWIS – CARTER – TOFFOLI
CLIFFORD – SHORE – BROWN
NOLAN – STOLL – WILLIAMS
REGEHR – DOUGHTY
MUZZIN – GREENE
MCNABB – SEKERA
PICKING PICKARD: Due to Semyon Varlamov being out day-to-day with a hamstring injury, Rookie goaltender Calvin Pickard will make his 13th career NHL start tonight for the Avalanche. Pickard comes into the night with a 6-6-3 record this season, posting a .936 SV% and a 2.18 GAA. Pickard has never faced the Kings in his young NHL career; his last start came on January 13 against the Carolina Hurricanes, where he made 44 saves in a 3-2 SO loss. Can the Kings get to Colorado’s young goaltender early tonight?
PLAYOFF PICTURE: Tonight’s game, much like the remaining contests from here on out, have huge playoff implications for the Kings. The Kings currently sit two points behind the Calgary Flames for the Pacific Division’s third and final playoff spot, and five points behind the second place Vancouver Canucks. The Kings are three points behind the Winnipeg Jets, who hold the Western Conference’s second and final wild card berth, and four points behind the Minnesota Wild, who hold the first wild-card spot. Can the Kings keep inching toward a playoff spot with a win tonight?
THE LAST TIME AROUND: In the Kings previous visit to Denver’s Pepsi Center on February 18, they beat the Avalanche 4-1. Gabriel Landeskog opened the scoring for Colorado three minutes into the game, but the Kings responded with four unanswered goals from Tyler Toffoli, Dustin Brown, and Jeff Carter (2). Jonathan Quick made 42 saves in the win.
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Tonight’s game will be broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network. You can listen to the game live with the Kings’ very own Daryl Evans and Nick Nickson on AM 790 KABC with coverage starting just before puck drop at 6:00 PM PT.