The Los Angeles Kings blew out the Colorado Avalanche 5-0 on Wednesday night and extended their win streak to four games. It is the first time since Nov. 17-26 Los Angeles has won four games in a row.
In the win, Peter Budaj stopped 22 shots for his second shutout in his last three games and his sixth of the season, tying him with Washington’s Braden Holtby for the league lead. Jeff Carter scored two first period goals, his 25th and 26th of the season, to help propel the Kings to victory.
“I’m just very thankful to be here. The team’s playing great in front of me and we have a great group of guys. We work tremendously hard to keep going and try to give us a chance every night and the team is doing great in front of me,” said Budaj, via LA Kings Insider. “We’re blocking shots, we’re doing the little things right. Obviously, when you score five goals it’s less pressure on you, so it’s great. I’m just very excited and very thankful that I can help the team to win some games.”
Los Angeles scored under a minute into the game and never looked back. Spencer Martin was in net for all five goals against Colorado, but still turned away 35 shots in the loss. Marian Gaborik, Dustin Brown and Dwight King had goals for the Kings. It was the 19th loss in Colorado’s last 21 games.
For the Kings, their game against the Avalanche was their last home game before their yearly “Grammy Trip” which will push them out of Staples Center and onto the road for their next four games.
Colorado will head home for a three-game homestand that starts on Saturday when they host the Winnipeg Jets.
It took just 47 seconds for Los Angeles to score the game’s first goal. In Colorado’s zone, Dustin Brown made a move off the side boards and put the puck on net. The puck bounced off Martin’s pad where Anze Kopitar and Gaborik swatted at the loose puck. Gaborik eventually bounced the puck past Martin for the quick 1-0 lead.
Just over a minute later, before the Staples Center crowd had settled down from the quick goal, Brayden McNabb brought the crowd back to their feet with a monster hit on Colorado’s Rene Bourque.
McNabb hit on Rene Bourque pic.twitter.com/pNMziARi9G
— nope (@myregularface) February 2, 2017
John Mitchell followed up the hit by fighting McNabb. Mitchell was assessed an instigator and a game misconduct for the altercation. The fight and the ensuing power play capped off the exciting opening couple of minutes to the game
After play settled down and the two teams exchanged power-play opportunists, it was Carter who took over the period.
Just over seven minutes into the period, Carter scored his first goal of the game. While on the power play, the Kings won a faceoff in Colorado’s zone and the Avalanche wouldn’t touch the puck after that. After Kopitar won the draw, Jake Muzzin and Drew Doughty played catch along the blue line before Muzzin fed the puck to Carter on the sideboards. Carter released a low shot that found its way through a Tanner Pearson screen and past Martin for the goal.
It was Carter again who found the net with just 2:18 remaining in the game’s opening period. Devin Setoguchi created a turnover in front of Martin and directed the puck towards Colorado’s net. Carter was the beneficiary of the turnover and shot the bouncing puck past Martin to give the Kings a commanding 3-0 lead after 20 minutes of play.
Carter had two goals on four shots in 4:31 of ice time during the period.
Colorado thought they had cut the Kings’ lead to two while on their first power play of the period. Jarome Iginla found a rebound in front of Budaj and put the puck past the goalie. However, the goal was waved off because Blake Comeau had come across the crease and bumped into Budaj which prevented the goalie from making the save.
Colorado challenged the call on the ice, and after a review, the call on the ice was confirmed and the Avalanche still trailed by three.
The two teams traded chances throughout the period with Budaj making several key saves to sustain his team’s three-goal lead going into the game’s final period.
Scoring chances in the 2nd period (& total): LA 6 (17), COL 6 (11).
SOG: LA 27, COL 15. #LAKings maintain 3-0 lead.
— Bo Hamby (@hamby_bo) February 2, 2017
The Kings went into the third period leading in shots on goal 27-16 and on the scoreboard 3-0 but the scoring didn’t stop for Los Angeles.
Brown scored the Kings’ fourth goal of the game just over four minutes into the third. As Los Angeles’ power play expired, Kevin Gravel took a shot from the point as Brown waited in the slot. Brown redirected the puck out of the air and past Martin for his seventh goal of the season.
With what felt like only the final buzzer standing between the Kings and a win against the Avalanche, but Los Angeles notched one final tally. Dwight King was behind the net and battling for a puck when he swatted a puck towards the front of the net. The puck ricocheted off of an Avalanche d-man at the side of the net and in for the fifth and final goal with just under ten minutes to play.
At the end of the game, the scoring chances suggest how one-sided the game really was with the Kings out chancing the Avalanche 7-2 in the third period and 24-13 overall.
LAK – Marian Gaborik (6) assisted by Anze Kopitar (25) and Dustin Brown (16)
LAK – Jeff Carter (25) assisted by Jake Muzzin (10) and Drew Doughty (22)
LAK – Jeff Carter (26) assisted by Devin Setoguchi (8)
LAK – Dustin Brown (7) assisted by Nic Dowd (13) and Kevin Gravel (3)
LAK – Dwight King (6) unassisted
THW Three Stars
First: Jeff Carter (2G)
Second: Peter Budaj (19-save shutout)
Third: Dustin Brown (1G, 1A)
Los Angeles Kings @ Philadelphia Flyers
Wells Fargo Center – 1:00 PM EST Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017
Broadcast Channels: CSN-Philadelphia, FS-W
2016-17 Season Series:
Oct.14, 2016 – Flyers 4 – Kings 2
Winnipeg Jets @ Colorado Avalanche
Pepsi Center – 1:00 PM MST Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017
Broadcast Channels: ALT and TSN3
2016-17 Season Series:
Oct. 28, 2016 – Jets 1 – Avalanche 0
Nov. 11, 2016 – Avalanche 3 – Jets 2 (OT)
Dec. 18, 2016 – Jets 4 – Avalanche 1
Eric received his BA in Journalism from California State University, Northridge. Eric has contributed to RinkRoyalty.com, Buffalowdown.com and California Rubber Magazine.