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game recap

Avalanche defeat Kings in shootout for third straight win

Donskoi scores only goal in tiebreaker, Colorado gets sixth victory in row on road

by Dan Greenspan / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Donskoi's shootout winner

COL@LAK: Donskoi tucks shot past Quick for SO winner

Joonas Donskoi skates in, dekes to his forehand and tucks the puck past Jonathan Quick to win the game for the Avalanche in the shootout

  • 00:29 •

LOS ANGELES -- Pavel Francouz made 20 saves to win his second start in as many days for the Colorado Avalanche, 2-1 in the shootout against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on Saturday.

Ryan Graves scored for the Avalanche (36-18-7), who have won three games in a row and six straight on the road. Joonas Donskoi scored the only goal of the tiebreaker in the bottom of the third round.

Colorado, which is 11-3-1 in its past 15 games, is one point behind the St. Louis Blues for first place in the Central Division.

"Just with all the guys we have out of the lineup, we have to check hard," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. "I just don't see us putting up a lot of goals with a bunch of the key guys missing. But you just got to stick with it. Stick with it, be a resilient team, and that's something we're going to need here down the stretch."

 

[WATCH: All Avalanche vs. Kings highlights]

 

Jonathan Quick made 30 saves for the Kings (22-34-6), who are 3-1-1 in their past five.

"It was a tough game to play," Los Angeles coach Todd McLellan said. "They really did a good job of checking, they got their sticks in lanes, deflected a lot of our shots, blocked a lot of our shots. Ended up being a bit of a frustrating night for us offensively."

Video: COL@LAK: Graves wires top-shelf wrister past Quick

Donskoi got Quick moving to his right before cutting back and tapping the puck into an open net in the second shootout of the season for the Avalanche. They lost 3-2 at the Dallas Stars on Dec. 28 in their only other shootout.

Francouz, who made saves on Anze Kopitar and Martin Frk in the shootout before rookie Gabriel Vilardi missed the net in the third round, is 3-0-1 since Philipp Grubauer sustained a lower-body injury in the 2020 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series against the Kings on Feb. 15.

"It's the result of the team game," said Francouz, who made 26 saves in a 1-0 win at the Anaheim Ducks on Friday. "We're really playing well now, and I'm just trying to help the guys, but we just didn't allow much chances these last couple games."

Austin Wagner gave Los Angeles a 1-0 lead 4:47 into the first period when he scored on a penalty shot after being grabbed by Nikita Zadorov on a breakaway.

Video: COL@LAK: Wagner lifts puck home on penalty shot

But the Kings could not build on the early lead, leaving Quick to make several difficult saves before Graves tied it 1-1 at 16:35 of the second period with a wrist shot from the high slot through traffic.

Los Angeles had to kill five penalties, including a bench minor against McLellan for abusive language toward an official in the third period. Quick made six saves on the penalty kill.

"It started with the goaltender. [Quick] was outstanding in that situation," McLellan said. "Give him a ton of credit. We kept it fairly tight in the areas that we needed to and got the saves. Fortunate enough to get some clears when we were tired because we were tired a few times, so that unit did a good job. Probably on the ice a little too much. Obviously, I played a role in that, so I have to take some responsibility there."

Video: COL@LAK: Quick robs Bellemare with knob of stick

The Kings had a power play for the final 1:15 of overtime, but Francouz was able to cover Dustin Brown's tip of a Drew Doughty shot with 3.6 seconds remaining.

"I could feel it sneak through my five-hole, so I was just hoping it's going to stop somewhere," Francouz said. "And I just tried to turn as quickly as possible and freeze it, and fortunately I was quicker than them."

 

They said it

"He was really good tonight again. We're starting to expect it from him, you know. We don't want him to have to be too good. Obviously, we want our defending to be solid, but when we make mistakes and we give up scoring chances against, he's been there to save us on most nights." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar on goalie Pavel Francouz

"Just not enough offensive chances or time sustained in their end. It wasn't because we didn't have the puck, we just didn't do good, smart things with it offensively tonight." -- Kings coach Todd McLellan

 

Need to know

The Kings are 1-for-4 on penalty shots this season. ... The Avalanche are 5-4-1 in the second game of a back-to-back. ... Colorado forward Andre Burakovsky did not play because he was ill. ... Los Angeles center Jeff Carter missed his second straight game because of a lower-body injury and will not play against the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday. McLellan said Carter could return against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday.

 

What's next

Avalanche: Host the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVAS)

Kings: Host the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday (10 p.m. ET; FS-W, SNW, NHL.TV)

Video: Donskoi's SO winner helps Avalanche defeat Kings

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