Game 16 Preview: Colorado at Los Angeles - LA Kings Insider

This is the second of three meetings between Los Angeles and Colorado this season. On January 22, the Avalanche defeated the Kings 3-1 at Pepsi Center, marking L.A.’s first regulation loss in 96 games in which it led after two periods, ending an 86-0-9 stretch. After tonight, the two teams will meet at Staples Center on Thursday, April 11.

Lots more after the jump…

Colorado has won three of four in advance of its three-game California swing, which begins this afternoon at Staples. The Avalanche are 1-3-1 against the Pacific Division and 2-5-0 on the road. In the team’s last outing, Semyon Varlamov’s 33 saves were propped up by David Jones’ goal with 17 seconds remaining in overtime for a 1-0 win on Wednesday, marking Varlamov’s second shutout of the season.

20-year old team captain and dynamic playmaker Gabriel Landeskog is expected to return to the lineup Saturday after missing 11 games with a concussion. He is likely to skate on the left wing, opposite David Jones, on a line centered by Paul Stastny.

Semyon Varlamov is expected to draw the start for Colorado. In his lifetime, he is 4-1-0 against Los Angeles with a 1.77 goals against average and a .942 save percentage. He stopped 28 of 29 shots to earn the win in the teams’ previous meeting this season.

The Kings have lost five consecutive games to the Avalanche, going 0-4-1 and scoring six total goals over the span. Their last victory over Colorado was a 4-1 win at Staples Center on March 26, 2011. They are 3-1-1 against the Northwest Division this season.

Los Angeles is likely to go with Jonathan Quick in net. Quick is 7-4-1 lifetime against the Avalanche with a 2.73 GAA and .894 Sv%. In the January 22 game, he stopped 28 of 31 shots.

Jonathan Bernier has played 40 minutes against Colorado in his career. On February 22, 2011, he entered the game to start the second period and stopped 15 of 16 shots in a 4-1 loss.

Saturday’s game opens a stretch for Los Angeles in which it plays 13 of 16 games at home and only leaves the Pacific Time Zone to travel to Phoenix.

Rankings and Statistics:
Goals/Game: LAK – 25 / 2.33; COL – 22 / 2.47
Goals Against/Game: LAK – 12 / 2.47; COL – 18 / 2.87
Power Play: LAK – t-23 / 14.3%; COL – t-26 / 13.0%
Penalty Kill: LAK – 18 / 81.8%; COL – 21 / 79.1%
Shots/Game: LAK – t-8 / 30.1; COL – t-11 / 29.9
Shots Against/Game: LAK – 2 / 25.0; COL – 27 / 31.7
Faceoffs: LAK – t-12 / 50.6%; COL – t-19 / 49.4%

Projected Lines – Los Angeles

Dustin Brown – Anze Kopitar – Justin Williams
Trevor Lewis – Mike Richards – Jeff Carter
Dustin Penner – Jarret Stoll – Dwight King
Kyle Clifford – Colin Fraser – Jordan Nolan

Keaton Ellerby – Drew Doughty
Rob Scuderi – Slava Voynov
Jake Muzzin – Davis Drewiske

Jonathan Quick
Jonathan Bernier

Notes: There are likely to be adjustments defensively, as Doughty has recently seen shifts at even strength strength with Ellerby, Muzzin and Drewiske. Los Angeles has won 73-of-117 faceoffs over the last two games. As always, line pairings are educated assessments and not definite alignments.

Projected Lines – Colorado

Jamie McGinn – Matt Duchesne – P.A. Parenteau
Gabriel Landeskog – Paul Stastny – David Jones
Cody McLeod – John Mitchell – Milan Hejduk
Aaron Palushaj – Mark Olver – Chuck Kobasew

Ryan O’Byrne – Matt Hunwick
Stefan Elliott – Greg Zanon
Jan Hejda – Tyson Barrie

Semyon Varlamov
Jean-Sebastien Giguere

Notes: Defenseman and former first overall pick Erik Johnson is out indefinitely with a head injury. Forward Steve Downie is out for the season due to a torn ACL suffered in the win over Los Angeles on January 22. With Landeskog’s return, Patrick Bordeleau is likely the player to drop out of the lineup. As always, line pairings are educated assessments and not definite alignments.

Rules for Blog Commenting
  • - No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • - Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other commenters, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • - Please do not discuss, or post links to, websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.
Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.