LOS ANGELES, CA – Three periods hasn’t been enough time for these two clubs to decide things this season. The Kings found themselves in another battle past regulation with Colorado.
This time, though, they came away on top.
Semyon Varlamov, who handed the Kings their single shutout this season on November 23, was hounded today by a pressing Kings offense throughout the afternoon, as they snapped 39 pucks Varlamov’s way.
The Kings built an early lead on Colorado, as Jeff Carter got on the board late in the first period. Carter slammed home a rebound from a Drew Doughty shot for his 11th goal of the season, giving the Kings a 1-0 lead with :31.3 seconds left in the frame.
The Kings haven’t allowed a goal in 21 of their last 22 first periods.
Justin Williams would add to the Kings lead with his 12th goal of the season, batting home a puck that slipped out of the glove of Semyon Varlamov to give the Kings a 2-0 lead with 14:35 remaining in the second period.
Colorado would bounce back, taking their licks on the Kings’ penalty-kill unit.
Erik Johnson got the Avalanche to within one, one-timing home a beauty of a pass from Matt Duchene with 5:58 remaining in the second period.
Midway through the third period, Colorado’s power play struck again to tie the game 2-2. Ryan O’Reilly found the top left corner from point-blank range, beating Martin Jones with 9:33 left in regulation.
These two clubs would head to Overtime for the second time this season, but there wasn’t much action – nor a decision made. Both the Kings and Avalanche recorded one shot apiece, but today’s contest had to be resolved in a shootout.
Kopitar has scored on five of his seven shootout attempts this season, and four of them have been game-deciding goals.
Martin Jones, who nixed all three of Colorado’s shooters tonight, has now stopped all 12 shootout attempts he’s faced this season.
Martin Jones made 23 saves today, and now stretches his record to 8-0-0 with a stalwart .966 SV% and a wondrous 0.98 GAA.
Jones has tied an all-time NHL mark of consecutive wins to start an NHL career. Bob Froese won his first eight games with the Philadelphia Flyers during the 1983-1983 season.
Even though the Kings scored only two goals in regulation time tonight, six different players recorded a point.
The Kings are 9-1-0 in their last 10 games, and have outscored opponents 32-13 in that span. The Kings are also 16-2-4 in their last 22 games.
The Kings are now 19-2-2 when scoring the first goal of a game, and 14-0-0 when entering the third period with a lead.
With a 25-8-4 record, which is good for 54 points, the Kings now sit at third-place in the Western Conference.
The Kings will finish off their four-game home stand Monday night, where they’ve gone 3-0-0 so far, when the Dallas Stars come to town for a 7:30PM puck-drop at STAPLES Center.
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