LOS ANGELES—Anze Kopitar’s use of shots on the high slot came perfect to putting the game to rest. The alternate captain scored the lone point in the shootout to lead Los Angeles to another win over the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 at the Staples Center Saturday. The clincher put aside mistakes made inColorado’s two unanswered to hang on to a three-game winning streak.
Both teams held their ground leading to the final minutes where the Kings struck first. Jeff Carter connected his 11th on the year on a drive that zipped by goaltender Semyon Varlamov giving Carter a two-game scoring streak and third in his last five games.
The second saw more life from the Avs, but not enough to change the grip on the lead. Justin Williams ended a five game scoring drought with his 12th on a drive that took a bounce in front of the crease to take a 2-0 margin ahead of Colorado. Martin Jones who has given up less than six goals in his last seven games held the Avs to 15 shots until the Kings gave them an edge. OnColorado’s second power play of the game, Erik Johnson scored on a wrister from the point where the shot went over Jones’ shoulder to cut LA’s lead in half. The Kings held their ground holding Colorado to 18 shots in 40 minutes, but their drive to upset their opponents wasn’t finished.
Los Angeles held Colorado to half of the Kings 12 shots on the net, but their mistake came on bad penalties given up. The Avs tied the game on Mike Richard’s penalty for concealing the puck and gave Ryan O’Reilly the shot to put Colorado in position to steal the game. It was O’Reilly’s 12th goal and second straight game-point streak. Varalamov was left to hold the net from pucks for the duration of the game to head into overtime.
The five-minute period was dead even with both teams finding a single chance that couldn’t find the back of the net moving both teams with great snipers into the shootout. Colorado brought out Matt Duchene, PA Parenteau and O’Reilly to beat out Jones in his first NHL shootout. The 23-year-old held his ground on Colorado’s top three giving Los Angeles the best chance. Carter’s shot was held away from the net as his shot couldn’t be set up in time. It left Kopitar alone to put the game away. His shot high over Varlamov on the stick side, sealed the win.
The Kings win helped their goalie tie a record not heard about in years. Jones became the first goalie to tie the record for most games won in his first year in the league. Jones could get a Christmas miracle and break the 8-0-0 record with a meet against Dallas on Monday night.