Kings roll Avalanche, 4-1
After a pre-game tribute to former King, Ian Laperriere and a moment of silence for Los Angeles sports titan, Jerry Buss, the Kings got straight to business.
Dustin Brown opened the scoring 58 seconds into the game. Justin Williams recovered the puck on a scramble at the top of the offensive zone and delivered a pass to Brown waiting in the slot. Brown’s one-timer rocketed past an oscillating Semyon Varlamov.
The slot was open all afternoon and the Kings would capitalize on two goals just like Brown’s. The victory is Los Angeles’ third straight and the team is gaining momentum heading into their long home stretch. With the Kings beginning to form a new identity and realizing the leaders on each line look for the goal output to increase.
Jeff Carter scored his ninth goal of the season at the 14:32 mark in the first period on assists from Mike Richards and Slava Voynov. Carter is on a three game scoring streak and has tallied a score in five of the last six games.
Milan Hejduk scored the only goal for the Avalanche 1:16 into the second period. Hejduk’s goal was on a 4 vs. 3 power play and was assisted by PA Parenteau and Gabriel Landeskog. Colorado’s young captain, Landeskog returned after missing 11 games with a concussion. Landeskog and the rest of the Avalanche forwards were thwarted by a pressing defense and a handful of marvelous saves by Jonathan Quick.
The play of the game was made by Jarrett Stoll on a Colorado power play. A diving Stoll blocked a shot by an Avalanche defensemen at the top of the zone. After locating the puck he dished it to a streaking Trevor Lewis on the right side. Lewis outraced a pursuing a defenseman and flicked a desperate shot through the five-hole of Varlamov.
The goal was the Kings first short-handed goal of the season. In last year’s post season the Kings scored several – one in the first three series. Short-handed goals can serve a devastating blow to a team’s psyche, as was the case with the Avalanche. Any momentum Colorado had after Hejduk’s goal was quelled when Lewis scored his second goal of the season. Kopitar capped the game off with a goal at the 16:42 mark of the second period.
First Star: Jeff Carter
Second Star: Jonathan Quick
Third Star: Trevor Lewis
The Kings host the Pacific-leading Ducks Monday night. Anaheim won 7-4 in their first meeting where Jonathan Quick was pulled after giving up two goals in the first six minutes.