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Toffoli, Gaborik score to help Kings defeat Avalanche

NHL.com @NHL

Tyler Toffoli 's breakaway goal late in the second period proved to be the game-winner in the Los Angeles Kings' 2-1 victory against the Colorado Avalanche at Staples Center on Sunday.

Marian Gaborik also scored, and Jonathan Quick made 20 saves for the Kings, who have won back-to-back games after opening the season with three straight losses.

"We're getting there," Toffoli said, according to LA Kings Insider. "I don't think we're all the way there, but I think it's a good sign. We're winning games right now, and we know that we have some work to do and we can still get a lot better."

Matt Duchene scored for Colorado (2-3-0). Reto Berra made 38 saves in the loss.

"I thought it was a hard-fought game by both sides," Duchene said. "Reto kept us in it, and Quick kept them in it. At the end of the day, it comes down to one goal, and we were pretty close to tying it up there at the end."

Gaborik opened the scoring with his first goal of the season 13:38 into the game. With the teams at even strength, Dustin Brown collected the puck at the right point and quickly fed Gaborik in the slot. Gaborik took one stride before putting a wrist shot past Berra.

Duchene tied it with a power-play goal at 15:57 of the second period. After Kings forwardMilan Lucic was whistled for tripping, Quick deniedJarome Iginla's slap shot from the left circle. But Carl Soderberg got the rebound near the left goal post and sent it in front to Duchene for a tap-in, his first goal of the season.

Los Angeles quickly restored the lead when Toffoli scored his third goal 23 seconds later. Toffoli intercepted Erik Johnson's pass at the Kings blue line, went in on a breakaway and put a wrist shot past Berra to make it 2-1.

"It's a long year. Those things happen," Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said of Johnson's turnover. "We had our chance to get back in that game. We need to stick together here. They played really well and they had a lot of good chances. Offensively, they moved the puck well. They were sharp tonight, and I thought in that circumstance our team did a good job. It was a hard-fought game and because we defend somewhat good, I thought we had a chance to win this hockey game."

Berra kept the Avalanche in the game with 14 saves in the third period.

"He was very good," Roy said. "He made some key saves at key moments in the game. For some reason, he's really sound in front of his net and he's under control. Everything seems pretty easy for him right now."

Colorado was 1-for-6 on the power play; Los Angeles was 0-for-4.

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