LOS ANGELES -- Patrick Roy knows a little something about coming into Los Angeles and winning in overtime, so it resonates loud when he passes out A-plus grades to his team.
The first-year Colorado Avalanche coach had his team match the Los Angeles Kings defensively every step Saturday night and come out with a 1-0 win at Staples Center on Jamie McGinn's overtime goal.
McGinn one-timed a pass from John Mitchell from the right side on a rush and McGinn's shot went in off a sprawled Jarret Stoll at 2:32. Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov made 19 saves for the shutout in a duel with Ben Scrivens, who made 32 saves and is 4-0-2 in place of injured goalie Jonathan Quick.
Colorado has won three straight without leading scorer Matt Duchene.
"The entire game, for a 60-minute effort, I thought it was one of our best games of the year," Roy said. "It was the best game of the year for us."
The Avalanche also improved to 3-0 in overtime road games this season. Roy, of course, famously backstopped the Montreal Canadiens to three straight overtime wins against L.A. in the 1993 Stanley Cup Final.
"I hope I brought that from '93," Roy joked. "It's going well. We're playing with confidence. The win in Chicago was a big win for us. It's a big turnaround. In Phoenix we played a sound game, and the same thing tonight. If at some point of the season I want to take a game [as a blueprint], that will be this one. We did a lot of good things out there."
"Today was probably the best game this year … the guys played a solid game today," Varlamov said. "The defense played very well. The PK especially played an awesome game."
The sequence that led to the game-winning goal started when Anze Kopitar's shot was deflected in traffic, and Mitchell carried the puck up ice on an odd-man rush.
"I'm trying to drive the net and just open up and get a lot of wood on it and make sure it hit the net," McGinn said. "I thought Scrivens made a great save with his shoulder. It was unlucky that it hit [Stoll], but lucky that it hit the back of the net. We worked hard for a full 60 minutes. I'm glad we got rewarded tonight."
Scrivens could not be asked to do much more for L.A., which has held the opposition to two or fewer goals six straight games. He shined on a late third period penalty kill with five saves, notably one on Nathan MacKinnon on a feed from Ryan O'Reilly.
Scrivens couldn't really be faulted for the game-winner, although he was characteristically self-critical.
"I had to kind of watch my depth a little bit, and they made that saucer pass over," said Scrivens, who has a 1.15 goals-against average and .955 save percentage in his past six starts. "The guy got good wood on it. I was able to get across and it just got me on the right side of my chest. It's tough to control that rebound, but I guess I've got to find a way to squeeze that a bit bitter."
Colorado spent most of the second period in L.A.'s zone, but the Kings didn't give it much to work with, and Scrivens took care of the rest. He stopped all 16 shots in the second, with the best chances by Maxime Talbot on the doorstep and by PA Parenteau from the left side.
The Kings changed their lines after Kyle Clifford was activated from injured reserve and Matt Frattin was scratched with a lower-body injury. Kings coach Darryl Sutter notably broke up the Dustin Brown-Anze Kopitar duo and had Brown play the right side with Clifford and Stoll.
"It's because of the injuries, clearly," Sutter said. "We knocked two right wingers out in the last game, so we moved Brown over. It didn't affect how he played. It didn't affect anything, to be quite honest."
It didn't really provide any jumpstart; L.A. failed to capitalize on its first two power plays. Kopitar broke down the right side, but Varlamov got a piece of the shot late in the second period in which Colorado had a 16-7 shot advantage. The Avalanche won 21 of 34 faceoffs through 40 minutes.
The Kings escaped, though, and could have grabbed momentum when John Mitchell took a double-minor high sticking penalty on Willie Mitchell. But L.A. had two shots on goal in the four minutes.
L.A. still extended its points streak to nine games (6-0-3). It typically thrives on low-scoring games and won its share of 1-0 contests with Quick, but this might have been a game where it could have used Jeff Carter, who is nearing a return from a foot injury.
"We had a pretty good first period," Kopitar said. "In the second period, we got outplayed. The third period was back and forth. We were good on the penalty kill, and have to create a bit more on the power play. In overtime, it was just a tough bounce."