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Rapid Recap: Avalanche 6, Kings 0

J.T. Compher has trick, Philipp Grubauer posts shutout in win vs. L.A.

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab / ColoradoAvalanche.com

J.T. Compher scored three goals for his first career hat trick and Philipp Grubauer posted his seventh shutout of the season as the Colorado Avalanche defeated the Los Angeles Kings 6-0 on Wednesday at Ball Arena in the penultimate game of the regular season.

Mikko Rantanen had three assists while linemate Gabriel Landeskog (goal and an assist) and defenseman Devon Toews (two assists) also contributed multi-point games. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Joonas Donskoi also tallied in the contest for the Avalanche.

Grubauer made all 18 saves, as Colorado held an 37-18 advantage in shots, keeping Los Angeles to single digits each period.

The game was scoreless for most of the first period before the Avalanche broke through with three goals in the final 5:17 of the stanza. Compher scored at 4:16 of the middle frame to extend Colorado's lead to 4-0 and then completed the hat-tossing sequence 1:44 after Landeskog's goal near the 10-minute mark of the period.

The win was the Avalanche's fourth in a row and eighth straight at Ball Arena, a new season high. Colorado is on a 16-game point streak at its friendly confines, the second longest in franchise history.

The Avs and Kings meet again on Thursday in the season finale, with Colorado having the chance to secure the West Division title and Presidents' Trophy with a victory. The Vegas Golden Knights won 6-0 at the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday night.

THE GOALS

1st Period
14:43 COL (1-0) - PPG, Joonas Donskoi chipped in the puck after it rebounded straight to him following a shot by Andre Burakovsky.
16:02 COL (2-0) - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare knocked in a loose puck under the goaltender's pads on a rebound attempt.
19:15 COL (3-0) - J.T. Compher unleashed a one-timer from the right circle that found twine. 

2nd Period
4:16 COL (4-0) - J.T. Compher recorded his second marker of the night by directing in a cross-pass by Devon Toews in the low slot.
10:03 COL (5-0) - Gabriel Landeskog's backhand shot from the slot went off the goaltender's glove and into the back of the net.
11:47 COL (6-0) - J.T. Compher completed the hat trick by knocking in a feed from Valeri Nichushkin near the crease. 

3rd Period
No Scoring

Final: Avalanche - 6 | Kings - 0

3 STARS

  1. J.T. Compher (COL): First career hat trick
  2. Mikko Rantanen (COL): Three assists
  3. Philipp Grubauer (COL): Shutout win

Selected by Colorado Hockey Coach of the Game: Brent Bohn (Team Colorado 19-Under)

POWER PLAYS

Colorado: 1 for 4
Los Angeles: 0 for 2

GOALTENDING BATTLE

Colorado: Philipp Grubauer stopped 18-of-18 shots for the shutout.
Los Angeles: Calvin Peterson made 31 saves on 37 shots.

STAT OF THE NIGHT

J.T. Compher scored three times for his first career hat trick. It was his first multi-goal game of the season and marked the second consecutive contest that he's tallied. Compher is also on a season-best three-game point streak (four goals, one assist).

The Northbrook, Illinois, native now has 10 goals and eight assists on the season.

It was the second hat trick by an Avalanche player this season as Joonas Donskoi also scored one on March 31 against the Arizona Coyotes.

NOTEBOOK

Andre Burakovsky extended his season-high point streak to seven games (four goals, six assists), one short of his career long… Gabriel Landeskog scored to record his eighth career 20-goal campaign, with only Joe Sakic and Milan Hejduk (both 11) having more such seasons since the franchise moved to Colorado… It was also Landeskog's 218th career goal, surpassing Peter Forsberg for sole possession of sixth place in franchise history… Jayson Megna picked up his first NHL point of the campaign with an assist… Cale Makar played in his 100th regular-season game… Rookie Alex Newhook skated in his first outing at Ball Arena… Samuel Girard turned 23 years old… The Avs began their 10th and final back-to-back of the season. The team is a combined 15-1-3 in consecutive-night sets, including going 9-1-0 in the first game… Colorado has won a season-high eight games in a row at home and is on 16-game point streak at Ball Arena (15-0-1). It is the second-longest stretch in franchise history and one shy of tying the record of 17 contests (Jan. 20-April 6, 2003, 14-0-2-1)… The Avalanche has now won five games in a row against the Kings and improved to 6-1-0 in the eight-game season series that concludes on Thursday. It is the most victory Colorado has had against L.A. in a single season.

BIG HIGHLIGHT

Video: LAK@COL: Compher finishes give-and-go to earn hatty

IMAGE OF THE GAME

Water attraction.

ROSTER REPORT

Samuel Girard returned to the lineup after missing the previous six games with a lower-body injury and began on a defensive pairing with Ryan Graves. Carl Soderberg (maintenance) did not play, while Jayson Megna and Kiefer Sherwood returned to the lineup and made up the fourth line with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare. Tyson Jost centered Colorado's top line with Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen. Goaltender Philipp Grubauer played in his 40th game of the season, making his 39th start.

INJURY UPDATE

Nathan MacKinnon did not play due to a lower-body injury, unrelated to his previous ailment he had earlier this week, but head coach Jared Bednar said that MacKinnon should be ready for the start of the playoffs in a few days. Brandon Saad (lower body) continues to skate and is sometimes joined on the ice by rookie Bowen Byram (upper body), who has been out since March 25. Forwards Matt Calvert (upper body) and Logan O'Connor (lower body) are both out long term, with O'Connor recently having surgery. Goaltender Devan Dubnyk has been in COVID-19 protocol since May 3. Erik Johnson (upper body) could possibly return later in the playoffs, while goaltender Pavel Francouz (lower body) is expected to return fully healthy next season after having surgery.

UP NEXT

The Avalanche and Kings meet again on Thursday at Ball Arena in the regular-season finale and to wrap up the back-to-back set.

LINE COMBINATIONS

Based on the start of the game
Forwards
92 Gabriel Landeskog - 17 Tyson Jost - 96 Mikko Rantanen
95 Andre Burakovsky - 91 Nazem Kadri - 72 Joonas Donskoi
13 Valeri Nichushkin - 18 Alex Newhook - 37 J.T. Compher
44 Kiefer Sherwood - 41 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - 12 Jayson Megna

Defensemen
7 Devon Toews - 8 Cale Makar
49 Samuel Girard - 27 Ryan Graves
24 Patrik Nemeth - 22 Conor Timmins

Goaltenders
31 Philipp Grubauer
35 Jonas Johansson

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