Tonight’s game is the first regular-season meeting between the Kings and Colorado Avalanche, but the teams did meet twice in the preseason. For what it’s worth, the games couldn’t have been much different. In the first, the Kings dominated the second and third periods and won 6-0. Three days later, in Las Vegas, the Kings were dominated in a 4-1 loss. Terry Murray recognizes that the Avalanche have a young, talented group of forwards, including 18-year-old Gabriel Landeskog, who has four goals in 10 games.
MURRAY: “A lot of young forwards, and they take advantage of the youth with a lot of speed, quickness, pressure. They’re on you, right now, in all situations, whether it’s special-teams play or 5-on-5. They are relentless at jumping on pucks, recovering them, getting them back to the net. They look to race to the net and beat you off the boards for those quick little plays from up top. So we’re going to have to be real good here. We’ve got to match that intensity and we’ve got to be really good on the checking part. I know if we do that, we can generate some good things on the other side of the puck in the offensive zone. We have played them a couple times, and when we were able to recover pucks, cycle and change the point of attack, there were a lot of plays to the net. Traffic is going to be important. They’ve got Varlamov playing here tonight. If he’s able to see the puck, we’ve seen enough of his game (to know) that he can make the stops.’’