After a brief practice yesterday in LA, the Kings headed out to Colorado for a pair of back-to-back games that will begin tonight.
“The fact we’re on the road against perhaps the best team in the National Hockey League and they have something to play for, it should get our attention and should keep our attention,” said Todd McLellan following his team’s optional morning skate. “At this time of year, these are hard games to play, hard games to motivate the guys for. But we are a group of professionals, we’ve accepted the responsibility of putting on that jersey and I expect a good effort from our guys.”
Colorado is still in a dog fight with Vegas for the President’s Trophy, yet they will be without a key player in Nathan MacKinnon.
Kings won't see MacKinnon tonight… https://t.co/tOLWv3xZWw
— John Hoven | The Mayor (@mayorNHL) May 12, 2021
McLellan also had this to say regarding one of the Kings more effective lines of late:
On the Vilardi line creating goals going low to high, and why they’re finding success
They’ve shot the puck. If you go back and look at some of the opportunities that they’ve been able to create, a lot of times the initial shot — and I’m not talking one or two seconds before they score, it’s maybe five or six — where the shot has come and they’ve went and retrieved the puck, whether it’s the D coming down and pinching, somebody covering, whether they get into a situation there where their recovery’s quicker than the defending team, whether it’s a pass off the pads, Lias to Gabe the other night….I think sometimes when you enter the league, you want to be a painter or an artist, and sometimes the art is ugly, but it’s still art and it can be rewarding. Those guys have played some grinding, shooting, get it back, score on the garbage type shifts lately and they’re getting rewarded for it.
LA Kings projected lineup vs. Colorado Avalanche
Kempe – Kopitar – Athanasiou
Iafallo – Vilardi – Andersson
Wagner – Kupari – Moore
Lemieux – JAD – Grundstrom
Bjornfot – Roy
Maatta – Walker
Other players available:
Blake Lizotte (injured, upper body)
Dustin Brown is out for the season (injured, upper body)
Jacob Ingham, Drake Rymsha, Cole Hults, and Tyler Madden
If you missed it, Quinton Byfield has been returned to the Ontario Reign. He’s expected to play in their final two games this coming weekend in Tucson and then they’ll begin the AHL playoffs next week — more in the article linked below.
Note to webmasters/reporters: When recapping news or interviews from this site please remember to include a link to www.MayorsManor.com