Los Angeles Kings Beat Avalanche 3-2 in a Shootout to Remain Fourth in the West

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Los Angeles Kings Beat Avalanche 3-2 in a Shootout to Remain Fourth in the West
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Mike Richards had a goal and an assist in the win.

The Los Angeles Kings defeated the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 in a shootout Thursday to keep pace in the competitive Western Conference.

The Kings sit fourth in the west, just one point up on the San Jose Sharks and two points up on the St. Louis Blues.

Los Angeles entered the game having lost 5-1 to the Dallas Stars on Tuesday, while the last place Avalanche were coming off one of their best games of the season after beating the Anaheim Ducks 4-1.

The Avalanche put themselves in a terrible situation early, however, taking three penalties in the first 11 minutes of the game. The Kings made them pay, with two quick goals from Mike Richards and Jeff Carter.

The Kings maintained control throughout most of the period, outshooting Colorado 15-4, but were unable to pad their two-goal lead.

In the second period the momentum seemed to shift, as the Kings were sluggish and ineffective in their own end. Paul Stastny took advantage, putting the Avalanche on the board late in the period, with David Jones drawing the assist.  

Colorado continued to generate chances in the third, with Patrick Bordeleau registering his first NHL goal to even the score. Bordeleau was also a force physically, finishing with five hits on the night.

Midway through the third goaltender Sami Aittokallio, who was making his NHL debut, sustained an injury and had to be helped off the ice. This occurred as the Kings’ penalty killers, led by Richards, were controlling the play in Colorado’s end.

With the score still tied 2-2, J.S. Giguere entered the game and helped hold off the Kings, who came on strong late in the third and in overtime.

However, Giguere wasn’t at his best in the shootout as Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar all scored to secure the victory for the Kings.

Jonathan Quick stopped 26-of-28 shots in the first 65 minutes and turned aside one of two attempts in the shootout.

Although they outshot the Avalanche 37-28, the Kings played poorly throughout most of the second half of the game. They were outmatched physically and turned the puck over too many times. And yet, they found a way to get two points.

The Kings have seven games remaining, including two against the Sharks and one each versus the Ducks and Wild.

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