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Los Angeles Kings vs. Colorado Avalanche - 12/21/13

Colorado Avalanche (23-10-1) at Los Angeles Kings (24-8-4)

NHL Hockey: Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 4:00 pm (STAPLES Center)

The Line: Los Angeles Kings -173 / Colorado Avalanche +157 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds

TV:

The Avalanche looks to hand Kings goalie Martin Jones his first loss of the season when the teams meet on Saturday in Los Angeles.

The Avs were the hottest team in the league to start the regular season and were the last team to taste defeat as they stormed out of the gates and jumped to the top of the league table. While things have cooled off a bit for Colorado they are still very much in the mix in the Western Conference playoff picture and are in third place in the insanely competitive Central division. Head coach Patrick Roy has done a great job in his first year as the team’s bench boss and with the level of success he reached as a goaltender it comes as no surprise he is able to replicate that success as a leader. Colorado is an impressive 11-5 on the road this season and they’ll need a heck of an effort if they want to go shot for shot with the Kings who hold a five point edge on their opponents coming into this one. Semyon Varlamov is expected to get the start for the Avs as he goes up against Martin Jones.

Los Angeles Kings vs. Colorado Avalanche - 12/21/13

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles heads into Saturday’s action sitting in second place in the Pacific division and third in the Western Conference which is par for the course for this team as they’re a Stanley Cup contender and certainly have what it takes to make a playoff push. The Kings are a physical bunch but have tons of talent in all aspects of the game and while skeptics were worried the season would fall apart without Jonathan Quick the Kings have found two stellar replacement in Ben Scrivens and the 7-0-0 Martin Jones who starts today. Los Angeles is a heavy favourite coming into this game which I’m not a huge fan of as I think these teams are closer than the line indicates especially with how well the Avs play on the road but I am not confident enough in Colorado’s defensive game to keep up with the Kings for a full 60 minutes. As such I will stick with Los Angeles and give them the benefit of the doubt of finishing this game in regulation.

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Los Angeles Kings -0.5

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