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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, December 21st (All times Eastern)

Colorado Avalanche (23-10-1) at Los Angeles Kings (24-8-4), 4 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Kings will seek revenge against the only team that has shut them out this season, as they host the Colorado Avalanche in Saturday's afternoon showdown at the Staples Center.

Los Angeles hosted the Avalanche back on Nov. 23 and was dealt a 1-0 overtime loss as Jamie McGinn scored off a lucky bounce at 2:31 of the extra session for Colorado. After the clubs played scoreless hockey through regulation, McGinn fired a shot on net that Kings goaltender Ben Scrivens stopped only to see the rebound hit off his own player before trickling into the net.

Meanwhile, Semyon Varlamov made 19 saves for the shutout win, as Colorado beat L.A. for the sixth time in eight meetings. It was also the third loss for the Kings in their last five home tilts versus the Avs.

Last month's loss against Colorado was part of a 1-1-3 stretch for the Kings at the end of November, but L.A. has won eight of nine games so far in December.

After losing Sunday in Chicago, the Kings have bounced back by going 2-0 so far on a four-game homestand. Los Angeles notched a 3-0 win Tuesday against Edmonton and then posted a 4-1 decision against the rival San Jose Sharks on Thursday.

Martin Jones made 31 saves against the Sharks to earn the win, as the rookie improved to 7-0-0 in seven career games. The NHL record for consecutive wins to start an NHL career belongs to Bob Froese, who went 8-0-0 to begin his career with Philadelphia in 1982-83.

Jones should get a chance to tie that record today, as he is expected to get a third straight start over Scrivens.

Jeff Carter, Tyler Toffoli and Dwight King each had one goal and an assist in Thursday's win, while Alec Martinez added the other score.

"I don't think our team ever really struggles with confidence. It does not really matter what the score is, I don't think confidence is an issue for our team," said Kings coach Darryl Sutter.

The Kings won on Thursday despite playing most of the game without captain Dustin Brown, who was ejected in the first period for a knee-on-knee hit against San Jose's Tomas Hertl. Hertl could miss a month or more after getting injured on the play, but Brown will not face a suspension by the league for delivering the hit.

Defenseman Willie Mitchell is questionable for the Kings after sitting out the last three games with an upper-body injury.

Los Angeles, which will cap this homestand Monday against Dallas, has identical 12-4-2 records at home and on the road this season.

While the Kings enter today's test on a roll, Colorado has been up-and-down in recent weeks, going 4-4-1 since the start of December.

The Avs did win for the second time in three games when they posted Thursday's home win over the Edmonton Oilers. Maxime Talbot's shorthanded goal late in the second period proved to be the difference in Colorado's 4-2 victory.

Talbot added the go-ahead goal just under 3 1/2 minutes after his teammate Ryan O'Reilly knotted the score at 2-2 with 5:00 left in the second. Marc- Andre Cliche picked off a lazy pass in the Colorado zone and raced up ice before backhanding a pass to Talbot, who went backhand on Devan Dubnyk for a 3-2 edge.

"That was a great cutoff and pass by Cliche. I just closed my eyes and put it in," Talbot said.

Matt Duchene had an empty-net goal and two assists for the Avs, who received 27 saves from Varlamov in the win.

Colorado is kicking off a three-game road trip on Saturday and is 11-5-0 as the guest this season.

In off-ice news for the Avs, Varlamov had domestic violence charges against him dropped on Friday after prosecutors said they couldn't prove the case against him beyond a reasonable doubt. Varlamov was arrested in October for allegedly attacking his girlfriend during a dispute at their Denver home.

12/21 10:54:19 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
STJ 68
DUKE 77
Final
NCSU 78
ND 81
7:00pm Tonight
NCCU
DELST
 
7:00pm Tonight
UNC
SYR
 
Final
CHI 84
MIA 96
Final
CLE 108
OKC 98
Final
NOP 109
DAL 106
Final
ORL 99
IND 106
Final
PHO 100
LAC 120
Final
ATL 112
MIN 100
Final
TOR 114
DET 110
Final
SAN 101
MIL 95
Final
GSW 114
BOS 111
Final
DEN 115
WAS 117
Final
LAL 87
HOU 99
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
POR
 
7:30pm Tonight
NYK
SAC
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
MIN
 
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MEM
ORL
 
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NOP
PHI
 
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UTA
BOS
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
DEN
 
Final
UCONN 66
SFLA 53
Final
GT 62
BC 64
Final
VT 47
UVA 50
Final
OSU 82
IND 70
Final
UCF 46
CIN 56
Final
WICHS 74
DRAK 40
Final
STJ 68
DUKE 77
Final
MAR 73
FAIR 67
 
Final
HART 61
MAINE 70
 
Final
MAN 71
MON 64
 
Final
PRIN 96
ROWAN 48
 
Final
SIENA 55
PETE 69
 
Final
RIU 53
BONA 48
Final
BING 54
USB 61
 
Final
MLOWELL 50
VERM 61
 
Final
BUT 77
SHU 57
Final
SALA 55
YALE 72
 
Final
PITT 68
LOU 80
Final
ILLST 53
NIOWA 54
Final
GTDNS 69
UMBC 55
 
Final
IONA 87
NIAG 64
 
Final
TENST 55
BEL 63
 
Final
NCSU 78
ND 81
Final
VILL 71
CREI 50
Final
MD 68
NW 67
Final
UTAH 77
WASH 56
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AMER
ARMY
 
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OU
CLST
 
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NCCU
DELST
 
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PBY
HIGH
 
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UNC
SYR
 
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DET
WRST
 
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NCAT
COPST
 
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SCST
HAMP
 
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COOK
HOW
 
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NWST
NICST
 
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NO
CARK
 
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GWEBB
 
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FAM
MDES
 
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INCWORD
MCNST
 
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SAV
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SHSU
 
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LAM
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ALAAM
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ALAST
SOUTH
 
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ARKPB
PVU
 
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ISU
TEX
 
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MVSU
TXSOU
 
Final
TEAMFOLI 12
TEAMTOEWS 17
Final
CARTER 28
IRVIN 32