The Los Angeles Kings' current road skid began with a loss to the Colorado Avalanche. They now they hope it will end with a victory at Colorado.
The Kings try to avoid a sixth straight defeat away from home when they visit the Avalanche on Tuesday.
Colorado defeated Los Angeles 6-1 on Oct. 23 - the Kings' worst road loss of the season and the Avs' most-lopsided win at home. That began a five-game road slide for Los Angeles (4-9-3), during which it has been outscored 20-8 and converted just 2 of 31 power-play opportunities.
The road woes continued with a 6-4 defeat to the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday. Los Angeles led 3-1 midway through the first period, including a goal by rookie center Anze Kopitar for his team-leading 14th point, but allowed five unanswered goals en route to the loss.
"A 3-1 lead in this league early on, we've got to find a way to put them away and not invite them back in the game," said Kings defenseman Mattias Norstrom, who had two assists. "It's a really disappointing loss."
That loss - the 11th in the last 13 games overall for the Kings - dropped Los Angeles to 1-6-0 on the road this season.
Los Angeles outshot its sixth straight opponent Saturday, 43-24, and is among the NHL leaders with 33.2 shots per game. The Avalanche have been even better, averaging 34.0 shots, but were held to a season-low 20 on Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks.
The Canucks put 38 shots on net, but goaltender Jose Theodore stopped 36 of them to lead Colorado to a 3-2 win. Theodore has won three straight decisions and is 5-3-1 with a 3.12 goals-against average this season.
"I just thought I did my job," said Theodore, who is 3-2 with a 2.74 GAA in six career games against Los Angeles. "As a goalie, you just want to make every save and that's what I tried to do for 60 minutes and let the guys take care of the rest, scoring the big goals when it's time."
Andrew Brunette had two goals for Colorado (7-5-2), both assisted by Brett Clark and Joe Sakic.
"It's a big win for a game we really didn't deserve to be in," said Brunette, who boosted his team-leading goal total to seven. "I thought Jose kept us in the game (Saturday), and he's the reason we got the win."
Peter Budaj, who is 2-2-1 with a 2.61 GAA this season, was in goal for the Avs' win over the Kings two weeks ago and is 2-0 with a 1.37 GAA in three career starts against Los Angeles.
Colorado's Milan Hejduk scored twice and added an assist in the first meeting with Los Angeles. Paul Stastny had a goal and two assists, while Marek Svatos and John-Michael Liles each added a goal and an assist.
Derek Armstrong scored the goal for Los Angeles in that defeat, but was placed on injured reserve Monday due to a clavicular contusion, according to Kings President and General Manager Dean Lombardi.
Left wing Jeff Cowan (chest) was also placed on the IR, as the team recalled Noah Clarke and Tim Jackman from Manchester of the AHL.