Kings beat Avalanche to extend win streak to six
Mikey Anderson scored his first career goal, Jonathan Quick made 21 saves and the Los Angeles Kings beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-1 on Monday night for their sixth straight win.
Austin Wagner and Alex Iafallo also scored for the Kings, who are on their longest winning streak of the season. Los Angeles is 7-1-1 in its past nine home games, including five straight wins.
“I thought that we were doing a lot of things right these last five games and even before that. Everybody’s been ready to play, and that’s a big thing for our team right now,” Wagner said. “You know, this year hasn’t gone as planned as everybody expected, but at the end of the season here we’re trying to make a push and everybody’s just trying to get some wins here and still climb the standings.”
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare scored and Pavel Francouz made 32 saves for the Avalanche, who could have moved into first place in the Central Division with a win. Colorado lost for just the second time in its past 12 road games.
Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon did not return after sustaining a lower-body injury in the second period. Coach Jared Bednar did not know the extent of the injury or when it happened.
“He leaves the game, I’m concerned right away,” Bednar said. “I know that he wasn’t good enough to come back in the game tonight, so, yeah, I’d say that is concerning.”
With the Avalanche looking tired in the second game of a back-to-back, the Kings led 2-0 after the first period. Wagner converted a sharp-angle shot at 14:22, and Anderson scored when Colorado defenseman Kevin Connauton redirected his shot from the blue line past Francouz.
It was Anderson’s first career point in five games. Anderson is the fifth Kings player 22 years old or younger to score this season, joining Wagner, forward Matt Luff, and centers Blake Lizotte and Gabriel Vilardi.
“To see somebody score their first, there’s a lot of joy in that,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “It’s contagious throughout the whole bench. I think everybody on our team now, if I’m correct, has a goal. And there’ll be more to come as more kids enter the lineup, but it’s a really exciting moment when that happens for the team as well as the individual.”
Los Angeles outshot Colorado 11-4 in the first, though MacKinnon missed the net on a breakaway midway through the period.
“They deserved those goals in the beginning, even if it was a lucky bounce. They worked for it,” Bellemare said. “Then I feel like we could have packed it in and felt sorry for ourselves, but we battled all the way to the end.”
Valeri Nichushkin had his penalty shot saved by Quick at 12:15 of the second period.
Bellemare got the Avalanche within 2-1 at 2:19 of the third period when his shot took a late bounce and hopped over Quick’s glove, but Iafallo made it 3-1 at 14:35 on a breakaway.
Go beyond the scoreboard
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