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Preview: A royal showdown with the Kings

Colorado looks to start a new win steak against western foe.

NHL: Los Angeles Kings at Colorado Avalanche Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Kings have come to Denver, CO, for a matchup with the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena. The last time these two teams faced each other, the Avalanche lost 5-4 in a shootout after giving up a two-goal third-period lead. The Kings have won four straight games, including a 4-2 victory over the Capitals on Monday.

Colorado Avalanche

The Avalanche got a much-needed victory over the San Jose Sharks and in dominating fashion. The Avalanche should dominate a team like the Sharks, with the league's fewest wins. Tonight’s contest will be a much stronger test against an LA team that can score and just acquired Joonas Korpisalo from the Columbus Blue Jackets to improve their goaltending.

Cale Makar was the star of the show in Colorado’s victory over the Sharks. This season's turnout is predicated on how Cale Makar finishes the season. He’s arguably the best defender in the NHL, and his impact, especially on the powerplay, gives the Avalanche a puncher's chance at beating any team.

Projected Lineup:

Artturi Lehkonen — Nathan MacKinnon — Valeri Nichushkin
Evan Rodrigues — JT Compher — Mikko Rantanen
Andrew Cogliano — Lars Eller — Logan O'Connor
Denis Malgin — Alex Newhook — Matt Nieto

Devon Toews — Cale Makar
Samuel Girard — Bowen Byram
Kurtis MacDermid — Jack Johnson

Los Angeles Kings

The LA Kings have been good this year, but they have found their success in a slightly atypical fashion. They hadn’t a goaltender with a plus .900 SV% before trading for Joonas Korpisalo at the deadline but are among the west’s scoringest teams.

LA is destined for a playoff birth and is hoping the addition of Joonas Korpisalo will give them the net support required for a playoff run. Tonight’s contest sets up as a high-scoring, high-speed affair. Get your popcorn ready.

Projected Lineup:

Quinton Byfield — Anze Kopitar — Adrian Kempe
Kevin Fiala — Phillip Danault — Viktor Arvidsson
Alex Iafallo — Blake Lizotte — Gabriel Vilardi
Carl Grundstrom — Rasmus Kupari — Arthur Kaliyev

Mikey Anderson — Drew Doughty
Vladislav Gavrikov — Matt Roy
Alexander Edler — Sean Durzi

Goaltenders

Joonas Korpisalo and Alexandar Georgiev are the unconfirmed starters for tonight's action. Korpisalo is probably thrilled to have been moved from one of the league’s lottery tankers to a competitive and hopeful Kings team. Georgiev’s situation is much like Darcy Kuemper’s last season. By all accounts, he’s a solid keeper that hasn’t been tested in the playoffs. Can these two keepers put a halt to the scoring tonight?