Kings vs. Colorado, No. 7 vs. No. 8

Once again, the Kings host a team that is chasing them in the Western Conference standings. Colorado enters tonight in eighth place in the West, one spot and four points behind the Kings. Again, it’s another potential “cushion’’ game for the Kings. They lost an opportunity Thursday to put some distance between themselves and Calgary, and tonight they get another chance. It doesn’t figure to be easy, though. Colorado has already beaten the Kings twice this season — once in a shootout — and the Avalanche are young and fast. Darryl Sutter talked about the matchup…

SUTTER: “We’ve played them twice, once when I wasn’t here. We lost up there, 3-2, and then we lost here in a shootout. If you break it down, we’ve outshot them (by a ratio of) 2-1 and we haven’t beat them yet. So it’s about finishing opportunities. You’ve got to handle them. It goes back to Sakic and Forsberg. It’s still in their system, the triangles and the way they play in the offensive zone. They say Hejduk carries that on for them, and then those kids are quick. You’ve got to be able to defend really well against them. They’re a quick team.’’

Sutter was also asked about the importance of getting good defensive play from his forwards against the aggressive Avalanche…

SUTTER: “We have to be careful on the forecheck. There were times last night, when guys are pressing to score, they get a little over (zealous). So you have to be careful with that. We can be good on the rush if everybody is supporting each other. If you over-forecheck, you’re doing a lot of backchecking.’’

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