Los Angeles (25-11-2) at Colorado (18-18-3)
When: Monday, January 4th 2016
Where: Pepsi Center, Denver, CO
Time: 9:05 ET | TV: NBC Sports
The red-hot Los Angeles Kings pay a visit to Denver to take on the struggling Colorado Avalanche on Monday night. The Kings have won five in a row and with a win tonight will make it their third winning streak of six or more this season. Los Angeles has been on the road for all but two games since December 8th, but it hasn’t slowed them down. They’re coming off a 2-1 home win over Philadelphia on Saturday and after tonight, will return to L.A. for six of their next seven games. The Kings are in firm control of first place in the Pacific Division as Jonathan Quick has allowed a total of seven goals during their current five-game run, and they’ll attempt to defeat Colorado for the seventh straight time. L.A. has earned points in nine consecutive meetings with the Avalanche (8-0-1), including a 2-1 win back on October 18th. Third-leading scorer Jeff Carter has missed the last four games with an upper body injury, but Tyler Toffoli has picked up the slack with six goals in the last six games. Toffoli leads the Kings with 18 goals and 30 points. LW Dwight King has scored two goals and three points in three games since missing the first 35 contests with a broken foot.
The Avalanche come into tonight’s game with just a 6-9-3 record at home and are six points out of the playoff chase right now. Veteran Avalanche right wing Jarome Iginla needs one goal to become the 19th member of the NHL’s 600-goal club. Coach Patrick Roy told reporters Saturday that he thought his team was overpassing to try and get Iginla his 600th goal and needs to refocus. Colorado is 1-2-2 in their last five games and have been outscored 20-14. Captain Gabriel Landeskog has scored just one goal in the last 14 games and Iginla twice since the beginning of December. Leading scorer Nathan MacKinnon (33 points) is scoreless in his last two games after recording a hat trick in a 6-3 win over San Jose on December 28th. The Avs have a tough stretch of games beginning tonight playing four teams in a row that are currently above the playoff line (L.A., Nashville, Chicago, St. Louis). Goalie Semyon Varlamov has been rocked in his last four games giving up 16 goals in that span. Backup Calvin Pickard, who stopped all 15 shots he faced in relief Saturday, could get the start tonight.
This is a pretty small number to lay on a team this hot. The Kings can do no wrong right now and the Avalanche are out of synch at the moment.
Pick: Kings -133