NHL on NBCSN: Kings look to continue surge against Colorado

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Wednesday’s Rivalry Night coverage on NBCSN will feature a doubleheader. The second half will see the Colorado Avalanche host the Los Angeles Kings at Pepsi Center at 10:00 p.m. ET. In addition to NBCSN, you can also¬†watch the game online.

With five straight victories, the Kings are one of the hottest teams in the league right now, but that’s after they dug themselves into a sizable hole. They’re still on the outside looking in when it comes to the Wild Card race and if they slip now, it won’t be long before the Minnesota Wild and Dallas Stars pass them.

So every game remains critical for the Kings as they look to extend their winning streak tonight. If this game is important to Los Angeles though, it’s vital for Colorado.

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The Avalanche are seven points back in the fight for a playoff spot and also trail hopefuls Los Angeles, Minnesota, and Dallas. That’s a ton of ground for the Avalanche to make up with less than two months left in the 2014-15 campaign. To put that into context, the Avalanche have just a 4% chance of making the playoffs at this point, per Sports Club Stats. That falls to 2.1% if they lose to the Kings in regulation time tonight.

“Every day we come to the rink, we’re focused on that next two,” Avalanche center Matt Duchene told the Denver Post. “We’ve played pretty well recently. Even that New York game, I thought we played pretty well and could have had two points there. We’ll continue to press forward.”

Like Los Angeles, Colorado has indeed played well lately. The squad earned decisive victories against Dallas and Arizona on Saturday and Monday respectively. The Avalanche even managed to prevent the Coyotes from recording a single shot on goal for an entire period, which is a rare feat to say the least.

Jarome Iginla has also stepped up with two goals and seven points in his last four contests. He’ll be countered by Los Angeles’ Jeff Carter and Dwight King, who have each registered seven points in their last four games.

This is the first meeting between these two squads in 2014-15, but they’re also scheduled to play on March 10 and April 4. The Avalanche were 1-1-1 against the Kings in 2013-14 and under the circumstances, they likely need a better showing this time around. First things first though; both squads will compete for tonight’s key points.