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Kings land second-straight win, oust Avalanche 2-1

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES – A Tyler Toffoli goal in the late stages of the second period gave the Kings a lead they would not relinquish in their 2-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche Sunday evening at STAPLES Center.

For the Kings, it’s consecutive victories after they started the season with a string of three-straight losses.

“We weren’t panicking when we didn’t win the first three, and we’re not going to blow our heads here and get all excited about winning two straight,” Toffoli said following the game. “We’ve got to win a lot more than two games to make the playoffs.”

Alas, there’s a long season ahead for this club, but a pair of wins after a rather ugly start to the season is extremely welcoming.

The Kings played a solid game from the get-go, registering 14 shots in the first period on Colorado’s Reto Berra, who was coming off of a 35-save shutout performance Friday night, and had a streak of 189:24 minutes without allowing a goal dating back to last season.

With just over six minutes to play in the opening frame, Anze Kopitar worked the puck up top to Brayden McNabb, who hit Dustin Brown with a cross-ice feed just inside the blue line. Brown spotted Marian Gaborik alone in Colorado’s slot, fed him a pass, which Gaborik whistled home low to Berra’s blocker-side.

For Gaborik, it was his first goal of the season, as well as his first point.

With just over five minutes to play in the second, Colorado connected to tie the game while on their third power play of the evening on Matt Duchene’s first goal of the season. Their lead would last just 23 seconds.

On the ensuing play after the faceoff at center-ice, Tyler Toffoli intercepted a pass at the Kings’ blue-line, then rocketed through the neutral zone and all alone on Reto Berra, shaking off Colorado’s netminder with a couple of shoulder moves, then pocketing the puck past the glove-side.

Toffoli’s goal was his third of the season, and his second in as many games. He leads the Kings in that department.

In the third, the Kings held off the Avalanche, but they didn’t make the task an easy one, granting Colorado three power plays in the final 10 minutes of regulation.

The Kings extended their point streak to nine games (8-0-1) against the Avalanche; they have not lost in regulation to Colorado since January 22, 2013.

Four different Kings players tied for the lead in points scored (1), Jeff Carter in shots taken (6), Trevor Lewis in hits delivered (5), Jake Muzzin in shots blocked (3), and Drew Doughty in minutes played (27:53). Jonathan Quick made 22 saves in the win.

The Kings finished their five-game home stand with a 2-3-0 record, and now have three full days of rest before traveling to San Jose to take on the Sharks Thursday night.






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