The Colorado Avalanche are coming off an emotional win on Wednesday night against the Florida Panthers. The Avalanche overcame a two-goal deficit in the third period and were led by forward Peter Mueller, who missed almost 20 months with concussion symptoms.
Although Wednesday's win was a big one for Colorado, hopefully they have put it behind them and will come ready to play tonight in L.A. With the standings as tight as they are, Colorado cannot get complacent and must be ready to bring their A-game each and every night.
They will face a tough Kings team led by all-star goalie Jonathan Quick. Quick is enjoying his best season of his young NHL career and leads the league with six shutouts. Although the Kings have struggled offensively at times this season, they do have very dangerous forwards like Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown and Mike Richards.
The Kings' blue line boasts former Norris Trophy finalist Drew Doughty and U.S. Olympian, Jack Johnson (no relation to the Avs' Erik Johnson although the two were defensive partners on the 2010 U.S. Silver Medal-winning Olympic team).
The Kings have talent at every position and the Avalanche will need to match their skill and intensity to take the home crowd out of the game. Not surprisingly, Jean-Sebastien Giguere will get the start in goal for Colorado after his strong outing against Florida and will have to bring another solid effort to match one of the NHL's top goalies. Colorado is 2-0 against the Kings so far this season, which means L.A. will be hungry to reverse their fortunes versus the Avs.
With the Kings currently four points ahead of the Avs in the Western Conference, this is a classic four point game the Avs will hope to win in regulation in order to continue to ascend in the standings.