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Kings seek quick bounceback in Colorado

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:50 AM

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

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Kings seek quick bounceback in Colorado
Los Angeles Kings vs. Colorado Avalanche
KINGS (27-21-12) at AVALANCHE (29-27-4)


LAST 10: Los Angeles 3-5-2; Colorado 3-5-2

Season Series: It's the last of four games this season, and the Avs are going for the sweep. They won 3-2 at the Pepsi Center on Oct. 30, then beat the Kings 2-1 in a shootout and 3-1 in Los Angeles last month.

Big Story: Back-to-backs aren't a favorite for most NHL teams, but the Kings are probably glad to be playing so quickly because they won't want to dwell on what happened Tuesday night in Phoenix, when they blew a 3-0 lead and wound up losing 5-4 in a shootout. The Avs, on the other hand, likely welcomed the two-day break in their schedule after Sunday's 5-1 loss at Phoenix.

Team Story:

Kings: When your team is last in the League in scoring, you can't squander three-goal leads. But that's what the Kings did Tuesday night in Phoenix, when they saw a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes turn into a 5-4 shootout loss. The one point did move them back into the top eight in the West -- but if L.A. misses the playoffs, the point that got away in the desert is one they'll rue.

"Points are huge, but we definitely should have had those two points," defenseman Drew Doughty said. "There's no way a team, especially a team like us, a good, solid defensive team, should be blowing a three-goal lead. It's entirely our fault. We played well in the first and we didn't play well in the next two periods. We need to look back and see what we did well. Our focus is playing well for 60 minutes, and we easily should have had that game."

Avalanche: The Avs had a couple of days off after being whipped 5-1 in Winnipeg on Sunday, and they'll likely have a new face in the lineup on Wednesday. Colorado acquired forward Steve Downie from Tampa Bay on Tuesday in a three-way deal that sent defenseman Kyle Quincey to Detroit. Downie has 12 goals and 28 points, but he's also the kind of feisty player who can get under the opposition's skin. The deal also helps clear a logjam on the blue line.

"Our organization believes that Steve Downie will add grit and skill to our lineup offensively," GM Greg Sherman said.

Who's Hot: Before Tuesday, Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick hadn't allowed more than two goals in any of his previous nine games. … Avs rookie Gabriel Landeskog has goals in back-to-back games.

Injury Report: The Kings are without forwards Kevin Westgarth (hand) and Simon Gagne (concussion). … Colorado's Peter Mueller and T.J. Galiardi both wore non-contact jerseys at Tuesday's practice as they deal with torso injuries. Goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere (groin) says he's almost ready to play.

Stat Pack: Los Angeles is 20-4-6 when scoring first, but just 7-17-6 when the other team gets the opening goal. … Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick was 10-0 in shootouts last season; he's 4-7 in 2011-12 after losing to Phoenix on Tuesday. … Colorado is 14-21-1 when scoring first; the Avs and Chicago Blackhawks are tied for the most times allowing the first goal (36).

Puck Drop: Perhaps the most surprising thing about the Kings' collapse on Tuesday is that the Coyotes got back into the game thanks to their power play. L.A. has been one of the NHL's best penalty-killing teams all season, but Phoenix scored three times with the extra man -- the first time the Coyotes had done that since opening night.

"It's probably the first night all year when we have enough goals to win a game," captain Dustin Brown said, "and probably the strongest area of our game, all year, has been our PK, and it wasn't good enough tonight."

2011-2012 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Feb 22 '12 LAK 1 at COL 4 P. Stastny
Jan 21 '12 COL 3 at LAK 1 P. Mueller
Jan 02 '12 COL 2 at LAK 1 - SO M. Hejduk
Oct 30 '11 LAK 2 at COL 3 M. Duchene
A. Kopitar61173451-11271
J. Williams61122840+63460
D. Brown61151732+64355
M. Richards53141731+35920
D. Doughty5662127+05222
J. Johnson6181624-122454
S. Gagne3471017-11802
J. Stoll5751015+14400
D. Penner445813-63510
W. Mitchell553912+23201
S. Voynov334711+4821
K. Clifford614610-69902
M. Greene61369-23202
R. Scuderi61178-11400
A. Loktionov39347-4210
T. Hunter38257-4801
B. Richardson52325-82800
C. Fraser46134-45000
E. Moreau28134-32001
T. Lewis51213-51100
A. Martinez30213-7420
D. King6123+3000
S. Parse9202+11410
D. Drewiske9202+0200
K. Westgarth25112-33900
J. Nolan6101+01601
J. Quick5224-17-1110014501.96.931
J. Bernier123-5-1272772.50.903
R. O'Reilly60153045-31042
P. Stastny58162339-52852
G. Landeskog61151934+153443
M. Hejduk61132033-81461
S. Downie56121628-1512321
M. Duchene41121325-6852
D. Jones51121224-62032
K. Quincey5451823-16031
E. Johnson5541923-61511
D. Winnik6151217-134200
R. Wilson4011415+22800
J. McClement598614-102201
T. Galiardi548614-54502
J. Hejda6041014-162001
S. O'Brien5621214-38310
C. Kobasew517613-104502
S. Elliott314711+1801
P. Mueller15527+1411
R. O'Byrne61156+04700
D. Van Der Gulik25156+3200
C. McLeod54325-413600
K. Porter32325-41500
J. Lindstrom16235-9010
M. Olver3213+1001
B. Malone9022+1000
M. Hunwick12011-4200
B. Yip10000+1800
T. Barrie4000-2000
E. Brophey3000+0000
S. Varlamov3616-18-210310502.91.902
J. Giguere2814-9-2567302.13.923