DENVER -- It took a while, but the Los Angeles Kings have climbed back into the Stanley Cup Playoff race, thanks to a five-game winning streak.
The defending Stanley Cup champions play the Colorado Avalanche, another team battling for their postseason lives, at Pepsi Center on Wednesday.
The Kings (26-18-12) are two points behind the San Jose Sharks for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The Avalanche (24-22-11), who have won two games in a row, are seven points behind. They're playing each other for the first time this season.
"We knew we never should have been as far back as we were," Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said. "We weren't playing even close to our capability, and now we're seeing what we can do when everyone starts to perform. We're happy with the way we're playing now, but we can't get ahead of ourselves. We have to continue this, we need to keep winning. We're still not in a playoff spot, so we still have a lot of work left to do."