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Preview: Avalanche at Kings

Colorado on eight-game losing streak; Los Angeles tries for fourth straight win @NHLdotcom

AVALANCHE (13-32-2) at KINGS (25-21-4)

10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV


Avalanche team scope

The Colorado Avalanche will look to end a season-high eight-game losing streak (0-7-1). They also have lost six straight on the road (0-5-1), including 5-1 to the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday. Goaltender Spencer Martin will make his third NHL start. Calvin Pickard started against Anaheim, Colorado's first game since Semyon Varlamov had season-ending groin surgery Thursday, and made 26 saves. Defenseman Tyson Barrie and forward Rene Bourque each returned from injury against the Ducks. Barrie, who had two shots on goal and was second on the Avalanche in ice time (22:37), missed the previous four games with a lower-body injury. Bourque, who had one shot in 12:45, missed the previous three games with a lower-body injury. The Avalanche will play a League-high 35 games the rest of the regular season.


Kings team scope

The Los Angeles Kings have won three straight games and hold the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. Captain Anze Kopitar had one goal and two assists for his third multipoint game of the season in a 3-2 win at the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday. "[Kopitar] is a very powerful player," coach Darryl Sutter told the Kings website. "Look at all the faceoffs he won on that side of the ice, drew penalties, pretty dominant player [against Arizona]." Kopitar has two goals and five points during a three-game point streak. The Kings will play four games on the road after facing the Avalanche. Sutter needs one win to pass Bryan Murray (620) for 11th on the NHL all-time list. Center Jeff Carter leads the NHL with eight game-winning goals and is one shy of the Kings record for one season, held by Kopitar (2013-14), Charlie Simmer (1980-81) and Marcel Dionne (1980-81). 


Avalanche projected lineup

Rene Bourque -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen

Gabriel Landeskog -- Matt Duchene -- Matt Nieto

Blake Comeau -- Carl Soderberg -- Jarome Iginla

Mikhail Grigorenko -- John Mitchell -- Andreas Martinsen

Tyson Barrie -- Fedor Tyutin

Francois Beauchemin -- Nikita Zadorov

Patrick Wiercioch -- Eric Gelinas

Spencer Martin

Calvin Pickard

Scratched: Joe Colborne, Cody Goloubef

Injured: Erik Johnson (lower body), Semyon Varlamov (groin)


Kings projected lineup

Marian Gaborik -- Anze Kopitar -- Dustin Brown

Tanner Pearson -- Jeff Carter -- Kyle Clifford

Trevor Lewis -- Nic Dowd -- Andy Andreoff

Dwight King -- Nick Shore -- Jordan Nolan

Jake Muzzin -- Drew Doughty

Derek Forbort -- Alec Martinez

Brayden McNabb -- Kevin Gravel

Peter Budaj

Jeff Zatkoff

Scratched: Devin Setoguchi

Injured: Tyler Toffoli (lower body), Jonathan Quick (groin), Matt Greene (back/groin)


Status report

Tyutin was a late scratch for the Avalanche against the Ducks because of a groin injury and his status is unknown. He was replaced in the lineup by Wiercioch. ... The Kings held an optional skate Wednesday morning, and Toffoli and Zatkoff remained on the ice for an extended session, according to the Kings. ... Sutter said Tuesday that Toffoli, who has missed the past 18 games, is on the verge of returning to the lineup. Toffoli and defenseman Matt Greene, who has missed the past five games, are on injured reserve. ... Defenseman Tom Gilbert, who had goal and five points in 18 games for the Kings this season, was placed on waivers on Wednesday. 


Who's hot

Zadorov has three assists in the past three games. ... Doughty has one goal and six points during a five-game point streak.

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