Los Angeles Kings 2015-16 Regular Season:
Game 39 @ Colorado, January 4, 2016, 6pm PST
Starting the new year off right, the Los Angeles Kings put their five-game winning streak on the line as they visit the Mile High City to take on the 18-18-3 Colorado Avalanche on Monday night. This will be the second of three meetings between the clubs this season and the only time the Kings will be in Denver this regular season.
The Kings will be looking to stay perfect against the Avs this season. They edged them by a 2-1 count at STAPLES Center back on Oct. 18 and now they will look to extend their already-impressive 12-point lead in the Pacific Division. But while the silver-and-black are simply looking to pad their division lead, the Avs are simply looking to get back in the playoff picture.
Entering Monday’s contest, Colorado sits eight points behind Nashville for the second and final wild card spot in the West. They have had plenty of offensive support from Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Duchene, who have 33 points and 17 goals respectively, but it will take a lot more than that to knock off a Kings team which has really found its stride as of late.
It seems as though missing Jeff Carter has been a blessing in disguise for the silver-and-black. Since Carter went down with an upper-body injury, the Kings have been 4-0-0 — 5-0-0 if you count the game he left — and are getting offensive contributions from just about everyone. For one, Dwight King has been hot. In only three games since returning from a broken foot, the big man already has two goals, including a highlight-reel tally from Saturday. Even those who aren’t scoring — like Nick Shore and Jordan Nolan — are working so hard on a consistent basis that it seems like only a matter of time before they break through with a goal or two.
In goal, Jonathan Quick has been nothing short of spectacular. Entering Monday, he has 22 wins, which is second-best in the NHL, and for good reason. No. 32 has been clutch as of late, making a plethora of late-game saves to keep his team ahead and ultimately victorious.
No matter where the Avs are in the standings, the Kings must know that they can ill afford to take them lightly. Even with their 6-9-3 record on home ice, the Avalanche can be nonetheless formidable for any team. We will just have to see which club comes out on top.
Enjoy the game!