The Colorado Avalanche have struggled in recent weeks on the road. It's a problem the franchise has had against the Los Angeles Kings for nearly 20 years.
After falling back into last place in the Northwest Division, the Avalanche look to earn a rare road win against the lowly Kings when the teams continue their season series Saturday night.
The Avalanche (29-28-4), nine points behind eighth-place Calgary in the Western Conference, have lost two straight and five of six on the road after winning three in a row.
Colorado fell to 1-2-0 against Los Angeles (20-32-10) with a 5-4 road loss on Dec. 9.
The Avalanche franchise, which played in Quebec prior to 1995-96, is 7-22-0 with four ties on the road against the Kings since a six-game winning streak spanning Dec. 10, 1983-March 14, 1987. They haven't won consecutive games in Los Angeles since that run.
The Kings, though, have lost seven straight at home since a 4-2 win over Detroit on Jan. 6, and are last in the West with 50 points.
Colorado dropped to the bottom of the Northwest Division following a 4-3 loss to Minnesota on Thursday night. The Avalanche have made the playoffs every season since moving to Denver, but that streak is in jeopardy.
"We have just been falling short," Colorado forward Andrew Brunette said. "We have been banging our head all year. You just have to win the next one. That's a broken record, but anything can happen."
Ken Klee, Brad Richardson and Marek Svatos all scored for the Avalanche on Thursday.
Svatos scored for the second straight game even though his minutes have been limited lately for a lack of scoring. He has 13 goals in 53 games after scoring 32 times in 61 games last season.
Two of Svatos' goals this season came in Colorado's first two games against Los Angeles.
Avalanche forwards Joe Sakic and Paul Stastny each extended their point streaks to 10 games with assists against the Wild. Stastny's streak is the longest by an Avalanche rookie since the team moved.
Wojtek Wolski, another Colorado rookie forward, has missed three straight games with a mild concussion suffered against Calgary last Saturday night. His status is uncertain.
The Kings' latest home loss was Thursday night, 3-2 against Vancouver.
"We have to keep trying to get a step better," Los Angeles coach Marc Crawford said. "You always look to improve, eliminate mistakes you make and try to keep improving."
Lauri Tukonen, the Kings' first-round pick in 2004, made his NHL debut. He started at right wing on a line with Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown. A spot opened up for Tukonen because Raitis Ivanans was placed on injured reserve because of an infection on his right arm.
"Guys are stronger and quicker, but I just have to keep working at it and get better," said the 20-year-old Tukonen, who was selected No. 11 overall.
John Zeiler, meanwhile, scored his first goal in his third NHL game after signing a one-year contract last Saturday.