Colorado Avalanche 3, Kings 2
Eight keys to the game:
THE FACTS: The Kings out-shot the Avalanche, 32-16, but gave up a short-handed goal and another on a power play courtesy of a bad bounce. They eventually gave up the game-winner with just over 18 minutes remaining at Pepsi Center in Denver, ending a five-game winning streak against Colorado.
THE STAT: The Kings allowed the fewest shots on goal since Phoenix totaled 15 in 2-0 victory at Staples Center in January. When the Kings out-shoot their opponent this season, they’re 1-3-1.
TURNING POINT: With the score tied, 2-2, early in the third period, the Kings committed a turnover in the neutral zone and Matt Duchene recovered the puck. He skated right at Kings defenseman Drew Doughty as he entered the offensive zone, shot the puck through Doughty’s legs and beat goalie Jonathan Quick up high for a 3-2 lead.
HOT: The Kings scored twice on the power play to improve to nine for 38 this season (23.6 percent), moving them into the top 10 in the league in that category.
NOT: Justin Williams started the season on fire, scoring seven points in the first five games, but he went without a point for the fifth straight game against Colorado. Williams hadn’t gone five consecutive games without a point since March 2010.
GOOD MOVE: Scott Parse continues to pick up the slack for Simon Gagne, who missed his second consecutive game because of a mid-body injury. Parse scored the first goal for the Kings, whacking the puck out of the air with a swing of his stick. Parse had two goals on the three-game trip and six points in his last nine regular-season games dating to last season.
BAD MOVE: Less than a week after mysteriously choosing to sit Quick during his three-game shutout streak and with plenty of rest between games, Kings coach Terry Murray opted to play Quick in back-to-back road games this weekend. Murray didn’t get the result he hoped for when backup Jonathan Bernier lost to the Devils last week, and Quick wasn’t exactly on top of his game on the trip, giving up nine goals in three games. He was lucky the Avalanche didn’t score more, as twice the puck got behind him during the third period, but Colorado couldn’t capitalize.
NOTABLE: The Avalanche won on their home ice for the first time since March 24 … The Kings scored both their power-play goals after Dustin Penner drew a minor penalty … The Avalanche, who came in with the No. 1 power-play unit in the NHL, took a 2-1 lead with the man advantage when the puck took a bad bounce while skidding along the dasher boards. Quick had gone behind the net to trap the puck, but it kicked off the boards and went right in front of the net, where Milan Hejduk scored before Quick could get back into position.
UP NEXT: Thursday vs. the Edmonton Oilers at Staples Center, 7:30 p.m.