Wednesday, January 27, 2016 / Game 52
Staples Center / Los Angeles, CA
Colorado played its’ second game in the state of California in as many nights — and after battling through the flu in last night’s loss to the Sharks, they took on the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center in a high-scoring affair. In the first period, the Avs looked like the same team that stunk it up in San Jose on Tuesday, allowing L.A. to build a 2-0 lead on goals by Drew Doughty and Trevor Lewis.
The second period was a different story early on, as the Avalanche came out flying in the first ten minutes — which allowed them to open the game up and eventually tie it up. Just 42 seconds into the period, Matt Duchene scored his 23rd goal of the season on a quick snap shot to the left side of Kings’ goaltender Jonathan Quick. John Mitchell picked up the only assist on the Avs’ first goal.
At the 7:10 mark of the second period, Gabriel Landeskog scored his 12th goal of the season when he collected a rebound from a shot at Quick’s pads by Blake Comeau. Carl Soderberg had the secondary assist on the play, as the Avalanche tied the game up at 2-2.
Colorado then spent the most of the rest of the second period in the penalty box, and although they killed off the penalties, it still gave the Kings the momentum they needed to take the lead back. At the 15:13 mark of the period, Dwight King scored his fourth goal of the season, and the Kings took that 3-2 lead into the second intermission.
From the 10 minute mark of the second period — until five minutes into the third period, the Avalanche had zero shots on goal. Right around that five minute mark, Jarome Iginla was able to get a shot on Jonathan Quick off a deflection play, but Quick was able to get his stick on it in a swiping motion — one of the best saves you’ll see in the NHL this season.
The Kings then got buried by an Avalanche of goals in the third period. At the 7:38 mark, Landeskog scored his second of the night (13th of the season) on the power play — set up by Tyson Barrie and Matt Duchene who collected assists on the play to tie the game up. Just about three minutes later, at the 10:35 mark, Colorado took it’s first lead of the night as Nathan MacKinnon finished off another good passing play. On MacKinnon’s 18th goal of the season, Mikhail Grigorenko and Carl Soderberg registered assists.
Colorado gained a 4-3 lead and never looked back after that, gaining an important two points on the road going into the All-Star break.
- Gabriel Landeskog — 2 goals
- Alec Martinez — 4 shots, 4 hits
- Carl Soderberg — 2 assists
PLAY OF THE GAME
Nathan MacKinnon’s goal midway through the third period was the eventual game winner. It was a good passing play by the second power play unit that was scored on a few seconds after the power play expired.
This goal in the third period by Landeskog tied the game up and really got the Avs going late in the game after this. It was Landeskog’s second of the night, and it was the second time he had tied the game up and gave his team a boost. Colorado was able to use this momentum to take the lead a few minutes later and really skated well with the Kings the rest of the third period.
The Avs go into the All-Star break on a high note, gaining two points in the standings on a night where the Predators could have overtaken them in the wild card standings. Now, with these two points, Colorado is in the first wild card spot with their 57 points being better than the Wild’s 56 points.
The Avalanche now have the next five days off for the NHL All-Star Game break — well, everyone except for Matt Duchene who will be in Nashville for the festivities. Colorado’s next game is next Tuesday, February 2nd at home against the Chicago Blackhawks at 7:00pm MT.
All-Star Game festivities all weekend long will be covered on NHL Network and NBC Sports Network. Be sure to follow us at @BSNAvalanche for updates on Matt Duchene’s rewarding weekend in Nashville!