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game recap

Patrick Wiercioch, Rene Bourque lead Avalanche to win

Score 22 seconds apart in second period; Semyon Varlamov makes 32 saves against Kings

by Rick Sadowski / NHL.com Correspondent

DENVER -- Semyon Varlamov made 32 saves to help the Colorado Avalanche defeat the Los Angeles Kings 4-1 at Pepsi Center on Tuesday.

The Avalanche (7-8-0) got goals from Patrick Wiercioch and Rene Bourque 22 seconds apart in the second period, and Blake Comeau in the third before Gabriel Landeskog scored into an empty net with 1:37 to play.

Colorado hadn't scored four goals since a 4-0 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Oct. 20 in the fourth game of the season.

 

WATCH: All Kings vs. Avalanche highlights

 

"Absolutely we've been waiting for this, pretty long actually," Varlamov said. "It's always nice to see it. The team played well in front of me. When the guys score lots of goals it gives you more confidence."

The Avalanche, who lost three of the four previous games, completed their homestand 2-2-0 and begin a three-game road trip Thursday against the Dallas Stars.

"We did a better job funneling pucks to the net, getting bodies to the net for some rebounds laying around," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. "If you repeatedly do that, you get rewarded. For me, breaking out of our zone we were way cleaner, the puck was delivered to our forwards on time from our defense and it allows us to go with speed. I liked our speed coming through the neutral zone. We weren't bottled up all the time."

Video: LAK@COL: Wiercioch, Bourque tally early in 2nd period

Blake Comeau scored with 8:28 to play to give the Avalanche a 3-1 lead. He scored from the high slot as Jarome Iginla moved in front of Kings goalie Peter Budaj. The play was reviewed after a challenge by Kings coach Darryl Sutter to determine if Iginla interfered with Budaj.

"Hey, I'm challenging every goal," Sutter said. "When you're having trouble scoring, if I could have 15 challenges, I'm challenging every one. I don't care. I got that big screen right there in front of me, I'm challenging them all. We challenged it because the goalie is in the blue paint and he gets bumped a little."

Colorado took a 2-0 lead on goals by Wiercioch and Bourque early in the second period. Wiercioch scored on a wraparound at 1:10 for his second goal and first in 11 games. Bourque deflected in Mikko Rantanen's shot for his fifth goal and fourth in the past four games at 1:32.

"We haven't scored the first goal in a lot of games," said Wiercioch, who was a healthy scratch the previous two games. "I was skating behind the net and saw him cheating off the post, so I tried it. It doesn't work a lot in practice. I was able to get my stick around and jam it off his pad."

The Kings (7-9-1) closed to 2-1 on Dustin Brown's power-play goal with 30.5 seconds remaining in the period. Nic Dowd skated by sliding Colorado defenseman Francois Beauchemin in the left circle and slid a backhand pass to Brown for his third goal. The Kings were 1-for-32 on power plays in a 10-game stretch.

Video: LAK@COL: Martinsen puts a big body check on Doughty

 

Goal of the game

Comeau skated away from Kings defenseman Kevin Gravel in the left circle into the high slot, where he beat the screened Budaj to the stick side.

Video: LAK@COL: Comeau wins battle for puck and scores

 

Save of the game

Varlamov stopped Devin Setoguchi's one-timer off a Dowd pass from the corner at 6:04 of the third period to preserve the Avalanche's 2-1 lead.

 

Highlight of the game

The Kings killed four Avalanche power plays in the scoreless first period, including a 5-on-3 advantage for 40 seconds.

 

Unsung moment of the game

The Kings were trailing 3-1 in the third period when Setoguchi controlled a rebound in the left slot and shot the puck behind Varlamov. It hit the far post and bounced away at 14:15.

 

They said it

"We had opportunities to tie that game up and we hit some posts and didn't bear down on a few chances. We got to make our chances count, every shift matters. It doesn't matter what the score is, every single shift matters." -- Kings defenseman Drew Doughty

 

"Best defense is a good offense, and we had a bit of that going tonight, but [Varlamov] did make some big saves, especially when they started their push in the third period. We needed him to make some big saves, and he did." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar

 

Video: LAK@COL: Brown tallies on great feed from Dowd

 

Need to know

Bednar said center Matt Duchene (concussion-like symptoms) passed his baseline test after participating in the morning skate and is scheduled to take part in a full contact practice Wednesday ... Sutter said he's hopeful center Anze Kopitar (upper-body injury) will skate Wednesday for the first time since getting hurt Friday ... Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon had a career-high 10 shots ... Budaj had 26 saves.

 

 

What's next

Kings: Home against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday (10:30 p.m. ET; SN360, FS-W, NHL.TV)

Avalanche: At the Dallas Stars on Thursday (8:30 p.m. ET; FS-SW, ALT, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Varlamov, Wiercioch lead Avalanche to 4-1 victory

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