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Colorado Avalanche Game Day: Shutout the Ducks, now on to the Kings

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The Avalanche look to build off a 1-0 win in Anaheim

NHL: New York Islanders at Colorado Avalanche Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Avalanche left Anaheim with a 1-0 win over the Ducks in the first leg of their SoCal back-to-back. Fresh off signing a two-year extension with the Avs, Pavel Francouz made 26 saves to record his first career NHL shutout.

The game against the Ducks was far from the most entertaining of the season, but it was a solid performance and showed the type of team defense this these Avalanche are capable of playing.

Now, the Avs head to the Staples Center for a rematch of last week’s Stadium Series debacle. The Avalanche lost in an ugly game to the Kings in the outdoor game so it will be important that they don’t give away another two points to the last place team.

Colorado Avalanche

Martin Kaut recorded his first NHL point last night when he got an assist on J.T. Compher’s game winning goal.

Nathan MacKinnon was buzzing last night - as per usual - generating a game high 6 shots on net but he was shut down by one of the best goalies in the league. If the top guys play with the same kind of energy tonight, they shouldn’t have nearly as much trouble finding the back of the net.

This is the team’s last game before the deadline, so don’t be surprised if we see a few new faces in the lineup the next time we see the Avs.

Projected Lineup

Forwards

Nathan MacKinnon - Gabriel Landeskog - Andre Burakovsky
Valeri Nichushkin - J.T. Compher - Joonas Donskoi
Matt Nieto - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Martin Kaut
Tyson Jost - Sheldon Dries - Vladislav Kamenev

Defense

Cale Makar - Ryan Graves
Samuel Girard - Erik Johnson
Ian Cole - Nikita Zadorov

Los Angeles Kings

Tyler Toffoli’s hat trick was the difference in last week’s win for the Kings. Since then, Toffoli has been traded to Vancouver as a part of LA’s sell off. The Kings are now in full tank mode and are still icing what is mostly an AHL lineup. The Kings have also traded away defender Alec Martinez in the week since these two teams met.

They will be more rested than the Avalanche, but that shouldn’t be enough for this inferior lineup to steal another game.

Projected Lineup

Alex Iafallo - Anze Kopitar - Dustin Brown

Adrian Kempe - Gabriel Vilardi - Martin Frk

Trevor Moore - Blake Lizotte - Austin Wagner

Tim Schaller - Michael Amadio - Trevor Lewis

Derek Forbort - Drew Doughty

Ben Hutton - Sean Walker

Kurtis MacDermid - Matt Roy

Goalies

After a shutout last night - and with Hunter Miska as the other option - there is a very strong likelihood that Pavel Francouz get the call for the second straight night. The rookie goaltender now has a 15-5-3 record on the season with a .926 sv%.

For the Kings, we’ll see Jonathan Quick again. The veteran netminder has been bad this season with a .897 sv% - leaving the door open for the Avs to break out after they were unable to solve John Gibson last night.