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Kings can’t hold back J.T. Compher and Avalanche in 6-0 loss

Kings goaltender Calvin Petersen reacts after letting the puck slip past for a goal during the Kings' 6-0 loss.
Kings goaltender Calvin Petersen reacts after letting the puck slip past for a goal during the Kings’ 6-0 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday.
(Jack Dempsey / Associated Press)

J.T. Compher scored three goals for his first career hat trick to lead the Colorado Avalanche to a 6-0 win over the Kings on Wednesday night.

The victory kept the Avalanche in the hunt for the Presidents’ Trophy and home-ice advantage throughout the postseason. Colorado clinched home ice for the first round and could finish first overall in the NHL by beating the Kings again Thursday night.

“J.T. Compher had himself a night and it turned out to be a good victory for us,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. “We’ll put it away and move on for tomorrow.”

A win would give Colorado 82 points, tied with West Division rival Vegas, but the Avalanche hold the tiebreaker of regulation wins. The Golden Knights beat San Jose 6-0 on Wednesday night. If Colorado doesn’t earn two points, it will open the playoffs against Minnesota.

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Justin Faulk scored 46 seconds into overtime and the St. Louis Blues defeated the L.A. Kings 2-1.

“Our goal from training camp was to win the league and to win the Presidents’ Trophy to make sure we have home ice all the way through the playoffs,” Gabriel Landeskog said. “We’ve put ourselves in position to win a hockey game tomorrow. To do that would be a big step in the right direction and then take on the next challenge after that.”

Philipp Grubauer made 18 saves for his seventh shutout of the season and 18th of his career. Landeskog scored his 20th goal, the eighth time he’s reached the mark, and added an assist. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Joonas Donskoi also scored, and Mikko Rantanen had three assists.

The Avalanche scored three goals in a span of 4 minutes, 32 seconds, including one by Compher, at the end of the first period.

Compher got his second goal on a feed from Devon Toews in the second period. He completed the hat trick with his 10th goal at 11:47 of the second period.

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Highlights from the Kings’ 6-0 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday.

“It’s pretty cool, it’s exciting to get three in a game when we’re pushing toward the end of the season and doing it at home, but all three goals were by great plays by teammates,” Compher said. “Great job by those guys made it easy for me.”

The Kings managed just three shots in the first period and 11 through the first 40 minutes. Los Angeles has lost five straight to Colorado and six of seven overall.

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“We need an effort, we need a group of guys that actually care about finishing the season — individual pride,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “It’s not too much to ask a group to work for 60 minutes. We might not have the skill, we may not have the quality of team that our opponent has tonight and the same group tomorrow night. We have a lot more in us than we showed, so it’s pretty disappointing.”

Cal Petersen stopped 31 shots for the Kings.


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