The Colorado Avalanche continue their nine-game homestand when they take on the Los Angeles Kings on Friday. Both teams enter the contest winners of their last game.
Here you can find the best picks, news, and stats for this West Division battle at the Ball Arena. Colorado is the favorite at -222. This according to PointsBet Sportsbook, which puts the odds for Los Angeles at +180 as the underdog.
Los Angeles will be without both of their goaltenders, as Calvin Petersen is on Covid-19 protocols and Jonathan Quick is questionable for Friday’s contest with an upper-body injury. J.T. Compher is listed as questionable for Friday for Colorado. The Avalanche have five defensemen out.
Groesnick Shines in Debut
Pressed into duty with Petersen out and Quick hobbled, Troy Grosenick made his debut and he made it a memorable one, stopping 33 of 34 shots in a 1-0 victory over Anaheim. Adrian Kempe scored two goals for Los Angeles and nine other players recorded a point.
Los Angeles is averaging 3.08 goals per game. The Kings have had a solid power-play all season, connecting on 27.5% of their opportunities, sixth overall. Anze Kopitar leads the team in scoring with 31 points. With his two goals, Kempe moves into second place on the team with 11 total goals. Dustin Brown is the team leader with 13.
Los Angeles has an outstanding penalty-killing unit as well, killing off 83.1% of penalties, eighth overall. They are allowing 2.84 goals per game, 13th in the league. It will be Groesnick back between the pipes. He has a .971 save percentage of 1.00 GAA.
Defense Muzzles Coyotes
The Avalanche allowed just 14 shots on the net in their 2-1 victory over Arizona. Philipp Grubauer had an easy evening, stopping 13 of 14 shots. Brandon Saad and Gabriel Landeskog each had a goal for Colorado.
Colorado is fifth in the NHL in goals allowed per game at 2.46. They are first in shots allowed per contest at 25.2 per game. The penalty killing has been solid at 85.9%, fifth in the league. When talking about the Avalanche, it starts with Grubauer. The Colorado netminder is 13-7-0 in 20 starts with a 2.05 GAA and a .917 save percentage. He has allowed six total goals over his last four starts.
The offense has been solid for Colorado as well. They are averaging 3.00 goals per game (15th), and are third in the NHL in shots per game at 33.3. They are 15th on the power play at 22.3%. Mikko Rantanen leads Colorado in points with 25. He has recorded seven total points over his last five games, including four goals. His 12 tallies lead the team.
- 2-5 in their last seven games.
- 1-7 in their last eight games on a Friday.
- 4-0 in their last four games on Friday.
- 21-9 in their last 30 games against teams with a losing record.
Los Angeles has proven they are not intimidated by Colorado at all. They have won three of the last five games between these teams and are 6-3-1 against the Avalanche in the last 10. However, as well as Grosnick played in his last start, he is facing one of the top teams in the NHL and that is a daunting task for a young man in his second game as a professional.
I will admit that Colorado is a little thin on the blueline, but they have the huge edge in goaltending.
Pick: Take Colorado at -222.
Regardless of who starts in net for Los Angeles, I am expecting a low-scoring affair. All things look right with Grubauer again and I do not expect a significant fall-off for Grosnick. This should be a very entertaining game won by the Avalanche, 3-1.
Pick: Go under 5.5 goals at -115