Do the LA Kings have revenge on their mind and during Sunday night?
Back in late October, they dropped a game 4-3 to the defending Stanley Cup Champion Vegas Golden Knights. Two weeks later, they avenged that loss with a 4-1 victory.
Erasing a similar bitter taste in the mouths of coach Todd McLellan and his players has not come as quickly regarding the Colorado Avalanche. A 5-2 defeat on Opening Night in LA has just sat out there and continued to linger. It remains one of the few low lights in an otherwise impressive season that has seen the Kings dominate most nights and has them challenging for a Pacific Division title.
Both clubs enter play tonight as two of the top teams in the Western Conference. For LA, this also marks the final game of their homestand before heading out on a four-game road trip. So much attention (and rightfully so) has been given to the Kings winning streak when playing away from Crypto.com Arena, yet gaining some momentum before they leave town could be huge for McLellan’s squad.
From all indications, forward Blake Lizotte is close to returning, but it probably won’t happen tonight. He has yet to skate with the team in full practice as a regular participant. We’ll have to see if he takes warmups as a bit of a surprise.
Stats Worth Knowing:
— In their last 10 visits to SoCal, the Avalanche are 8-2-0 vs. the Kings.
— All-time, the stats are a bit more interesting. Overall, Colorado has a 69-67-8-8 record against Los Angeles, with a sub .500 record when the Kings host (31-37-5-5).
— During that line earlier game this season, Avs forward Mikko Rantanen was up to his old tricks. He had another multi-point performance (2G, 2A) and continues to lead all active Colorado players with 35 career points (12G, 23A) against the Kings.
— Former Kings defenseman Jack Johnson skated in his 1,130th career game, the 11th most among American-born blueliners.
— Seven of Anze Kopitar’s 18 career goals against Colorado have been scored on the power play.
— Adrian Kempe has five goals over the past five times he’s faced the Avs.
Kings Projected Lineup vs. Avalanche
Byfield – Kopitar – Kempe
Fiala – Danault – Moore
Laferriere – Dubois – Grundstrom
JAD – Lewis – Kaliyev
Anderson – Doughty
Gavrikov – Roy
Englund – Spence
Likely scratches: Lizotte, Moverare
Injured Reserve: Arvidsson (LTIR)
Key Game Info
Puck drop is set for 5:00 pm Pacific Time and will be televised by Bally Sports.
For those live in attendance, the LA Kings Booster Club will offer their popular ‘Puck for a Buck’ contest — featuring Drew Doughty for this game. Just $1 could win you an autographed puck from an NHL star. Visit their table outside sections 317-318 on the upper concourse for more information.
Across the Ice
Colorado is coming off a 4-3 overtime loss in Anaheim on Saturday. Here’s how they lined up for that one:
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) December 3, 2023
NHL Player Safety weighed in on that game, as well:
Colorado’s Ross Colton has been fined $5,000, the maximum allowable under the CBA, for a dangerous trip on Anaheim’s Leo Carlsson.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) December 3, 2023
And there will be at least one lineup change tonight:
Coach Bednar says Cale Makar won’t play tonight. Sam Malinski will step in. A couple of other players are game time decisions. pic.twitter.com/BZMTJ1fzts
— Marc Moser TV (@RadioMoser) December 3, 2023
On This Day in Kings History
On December 3, 2009, Wayne Simmonds scored his first career penalty shot goal against Brian Elliott and the Ottawa Senators. Justin Williams scored two goals and three points, and Jonathan Quick made 27 saves in a 6-3 win for the @LAKings.#LAKings #GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/SDCq98q6CJ
— The Kingstorian (@Kingstorian) December 3, 2023
Lineup graphic via ALo Images
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