A happy early Saturday afternoon to you and yours, Insiders. The Kings held a full morning skate in advance of tonight’s game against the Colorado Avalanche (7:00 p.m. / FOX Sports West). It does not appear as though there will be changes to tonight’s lineup.
Gaborik – Kopitar – Williams
King – Carter – Toffoli
Brown – Stoll – Lewis
Clifford – Shore – Nolan
Pearson – Richards – Andreoff
Muzzin – Doughty
Regehr – Martinez
McNabb – Greene
-Jonathan Quick left the ice first, so he’s likely to start in net. Mike Richards, Andy Andreoff and Jamie McBain remained on the ice for extra work with Tanner Pearson and Martin Jones, so they’re likely out.
-Andrej Sekera (lower-body) is not skating. In my interactions with Dean Lombardi and hockey operations, I did not learn the full nature of the injury, nor did I get the sense that there would be any sort of quick return to the lineup. Teams are naturally tight-lipped with injury information at this time of the year, but there was this from Lisa Dillman yesterday:
Was told last night Sekera was not expected to return during the regular season. Didn't discuss playoffs. #CrossThatBridgeLater
— lisa dillman (@reallisa) April 3, 2015
-There should be some interesting stuff from Darryl Sutter later today on hockey sticks and superstitions. We also chatted about the schedule imbalance, and how it relates to home-and-road play.
-The Avs will turn to Semyon Varlamov this evening after Reto Berra picked up a win with a 35-save effort in a 4-2 win over the Ducks Friday night. Colorado has been an improved second half team and will enter tonight’s game 6-3-1 in its last 10 road games and 9-5-1 in the last 15 games overall despite having totaled 462 man-games to injury this season.
“If we win out, you never know what could happen,” Matt Duchene told the Denver Post after the win over Anaheim. “We’re going to give ourselves the best opportunity possible and even if we don’t make it, we have a lot of pride in here, a lot of character, and whatever we do to finish it off is going to lead into next season.”
The Avalanche are six points out of the playoffs and have four games remaining. Tonight’s is Colorado’s final road game of the season.