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Preview: Force of nature meets royalty

Avalanche look to extend their winning steak to seven games against the Kings.

Colorado Avalanche v Los Angeles Kings Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Tonight the Colorado Avalanche will host the Los Angeles Kings at Ball Arena. No one expected LA to make such a quick turnaround, but they sit in third place in the tightly contested Pacific Division. The Avalanche sit tied with the Florida Panthers atop the NHL with one hundred and ten points.

Colorado Avalanche

The Avalanche are deciding whether to push for the President’s Trophy or prioritize resting key players heading into the playoffs, which can be awkward. The good news is that Joe Sakic seems to have done yet another stellar job of adding depth that can secure wins even when the big guns cannot hit the ice.

On that note, Jared Bednar mentioned that both Gabriel Landeskog and Nazem Kadri are on schedule for a playoff return. He went on to say that Kadri might even get in a few regular-season games before the playoffs. That would be ideal for both him and Landeskog but given Landy’s type of injury, he is less likely to do so.

Note: The Colorado Avalanche signed Minnesota State Maverick Wyatt Aamodt for an amateur tryout with the Colorado Eagles. Aamodt Captained the Mavericks in their NCAA championship loss to the Pioneers of DU this past weekend.

Projected Lineup

Andre Burakovsky - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen
Artturi Lehkonen - JT Compher - Valeri Nichushkin
Alex Newhook - Nico Sturm - Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Andrew Cogliano - Darren Helm - Kurtis MacDermid

Erik Johnson - Cale Makar
Devon Toews - Josh Manson
Bowen Byram - Samuel Girard

Los Angeles Kings

LA is in a position to make the playoffs for the first time since 2018, when they got swept by the Vegas Golden Knights. They have secured six points in their last ten contests but will need to string a few together to really solidify their playoff chances. They are in a standings race with both the Knights and the Oilers. I expect them to play with desperation sitting just three points ahead of Vegas and two behind Edmonton.

Pacific Division Standings

Projected Lineup

Arthur Kaliyev - Anze Kopitar - Adrian Kempe
Trevor Moore - Phillip Danault - Viktor Arvidsson
Alex Iafallo - Blake Lizotte - Dustin Brown
Gabriel Vilardi - Quinton Byfield - Rasmus Kupari

Matt Roy - Sean Durzi
Alexander Edler - Troy Stecher
Olli Maatta - Jordan Spence


I’d assume the Colorado Avalanche ride the hot hand and go with Darcy Kuemper in net tonight. The team has had three full days off, and that should mean Kuemper is rested and ready to get the start. The door for Kuempers chances at a Vezina trophy went from creaking open to flying off the hinges with his eleven save OT performance last week against the highly skilled Oilers.

The Avalanche are getting every team’s best goalie performances, and I don’t expect tonight to be any different. Every game is the biggest game of the season for the Kings, and with that, I’d expect their starter to be Cal Petersen. Peterson has been a bright spot and solidified himself as the future starter despite having a less than impressive SV% of .899.