The Colorado Avalanche will play the Los Angeles Kings in the first game of a back-to-back in Denver. The Avalanche are trying to secure the President’s trophy and need victories in both games to do so. Most importantly, the Avalanche could earn home ice throughout the playoffs. LA is packing it up after a tough season but has seen the resurgence of a few key players.
The Avalanche are coming off the most significant regular-season win of the season over the Las Vegas Golden Knights. In the victory, goaltender Philipp Grubauer stole the contest with thirty-six saves on thirty-seven shots. Grubauer was candid in the post-game interview saying his team didn’t play well in front of him and that he knew he’d have to steal one.
Nathan MacKinnon was noticeably off his game on Monday night and will not play in tonight’s contest. He is still servicing a couple of injuries and will take the opportunity to rest as the Avalanche head into the playoffs.
Sam Girard’s dog Tornade broke the news that the Avalanche defender will be returning to the ice for the first time since getting injured against the San Jose Sharks back on April 30.
Gabriel Landeskog - Tyson Jost - Mikko Rantanen
Valeri Nichushkin - Nazem Kadri - Andre Burakovsky
J.T. Compher - Alex Newhook - Joonas Donskoi
Carl Soderberg - Peirre Eduoard Bellemare - Kiefer Sherwood
Devon Toews - Cale Makar
Ryan Graves - Sam Girard
Connor Timmins - Jacob MacDonald
LOS ANGELES KINGS
The Kings are coming off a 2-1 OT loss to the St. Louis Blues on Monday. They have lost three straight contests and have no chance at securing a playoff spot. They will likely get up for this one in hopes of playing spoiler.
Adrian Kempe - Anze Kopitar - Trevor Moore
Alex Iafallo - Gabriel Vilardi - Andre Athanasiou
Lias Andersson - Rasmus Kupari - Austin Wagner
Brendan Lemieux - Jaret Anderson-Dolan - Carl Gundstrom
Michael Anderson - Drew Doughty
Tobias Brjornfot - Matt Roy
Olli Maatta - Sean Walker
The Avalanche will more than likely go with backup Devan Dubnyk or Joonas Johansson in tonight’s contest. If not tonight, then one or the other will get the nod on Thursday for the second of this back-to-back. The Avalanche won’t play a playoff game till Sunday at the earliest, so they will have plenty of days to rest Philipp Grubauer.
The Kings will start the youngster Cal Peterson between the pipes. Peterson has been good in his starts for the Kings and looks to be the future of goaltending as Kings legend Jonathan Quick on the way out.