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Avalanche-Kings Preview @NHL
Avalanche-Kings Preview

GAME: Colorado Avalanche (11-6-2) at Los Angeles Kings (13-6-1).

TIME: Saturday, 10:30 p.m. EST.

The Colorado Avalanche will take another shot at a road sweep of Southern California opponents when they meet the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center.

Colorado is coming off a 3-2 win Friday over the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. Alex Tanguay had three assists and rookie Marek Svatos scored his 10th goal and fifth game-winner for the Avalanche.

"Obviously, Sidney Crosby's off to a great start and he's going to be a humongous player in carrying our league, but I think Marek will start getting recognition with the goals that he's scoring," Colorado defenseman Rob Blake said.

This marks the seventh time Colorado is playing consecutive road games against Southern California teams since the NHL expanded to Anaheim in 1993-94. Colorado has never won both games.

Longtime center Joe Sakic had two assists in the win over the Ducks, giving him 1,420 career points. He needs one point to move past Adam Oates into sole possession of 13th place on the all-time list.

Sakic has 28 goals and 31 assists in 49 career games against the Kings. He has never had a game-winning goal against them.

Los Angeles is looking for its fourth win in five games. The Kings withstood a late rally Thursday for a 5-4 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

Defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky had power-play goals 53 seconds apart in the first period and Michael Cammalleri also scored on the man advantage.

Alexander Frolov, Pavol Demitra and Craig Conroy have emerged as one of the most potent lines in the league for the Kings. The trio has combined for 26 goals and 38 assists in 14 games.

"We're hungry and we're cruising right along," Conroy said. "Alex and Pavol are the type of guys that once they smell a little blood in the water, they're circling."

Demitra has seven goals and eight assists during a 12-game points streak against Colorado dating to Oct. 31, 2001.

STANDINGS (through Nov. 18): Avalanche - 24 points, 3rd place, 2 PB, Northwest Division. Kings - 27 points, 1st place (tied), Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Avalanche - Svatos, 10 goals; Alex Tanguay 15 and 22 points; Ian Laperriere, 40 PIM. Kings - Conroy and Frolov, 11 goals; Demitra, 18 assists and 26 points; Sean Avery, 59 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 18): Avalanche - Power play: 19.8 percent (26 for 131), 7th in NHL. Penalty killing: 85.5 percent (101 for 118), 4th (tied). Kings - Power play: 17.1 percent (22 for 128), 19th (tied). Penalty killing: 85.1 percent (103 for 121), 7th (tied).

GOALTENDERS: Avalanche - David Aebischer (8-4-0, 0 SO, 3.44 GAA); Peter Budaj (3-2-2, 0, 2.34). Kings - Mathieu Garon (5-4-0, 0, 3.05); Jason LaBarbera (8-2-1, 0, 2.44).

SEASON SERIES: Kings, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Oct. 19; Kings, 5-4. At Colorado, Conroy scored the game-winner in the final minute for the Kings as the Avalanche wasted a three-goal, third-period lead.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Avalanche - 4-3-0 on the road; Kings - 8-3-0 at home.

Associated Press
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