High-scoring Avalanche open road trip against Kings

NHL Hockey

After putting their goal-scoring prowess on display Friday, the Colorado Avalanche will be well rested heading into Tuesday’s game against the Los Angeles Kings that opens a four-game Southern California road trip.

The teams will repeat the matchup on Thursday in L.A.

Bent on revenge after a season-opening loss at home to the St. Louis Blues, the Avalanche got out their aggressions on the back end of a back-to-back against the Blues. Colorado scored five power-play goals Friday en route to an 8-0 victory.

The domination was so complete, on both ends of the ice, that Avalanche goaltender Philipp Grubauer needed just 21 saves to earn the 12th shutout of his career.

After a scoreless first period, Gabriel Landeskog started the onslaught at 4:03 of the second period with his first of two goals. Six other Avalanche players scored goals. Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and two assists, Cale Makar had three assists and even Grubauer had an assist.

“We got outworked, we got embarrassed in the opening game, and we lost and it wasn’t the way we wanted to lose,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said about Wednesday’s 4-1 defeat to the Blues. “I think the guys took it to heart and came out with a real strong work ethic, a real strong competitiveness and a real good commitment to defend.

“When we defend like that, we come up with the puck a lot more and then we’re able to go on the attack.”

Landeskog’s second goal Friday, which gave the Avalanche a 3-0 lead in the second period, was the 200th of his career. Mikko Rantanen followed with a goal of his own in the second period for a 4-0 lead. It was the 100th of Rantanen’s career.

The five power-play goals matched a Colorado Avalanche record, with it also happened in 2018 against the Vancouver Canucks.

The last thing the Kings need to see is a team that can flip on its scoring potential whenever it needs it. The Kings enter off consecutive 4-3 overtime defeats at home to the Minnesota Wild to open the season.

Twice the Kings led 3-1 heading into the third period and twice the Wild scored two goals in the final period to tie it before coming away with an overtime goal for the victory.

The second such defeat for the Kings on Saturday was especially heartbreaking. The Wild got a goal from Matthew Dumba with less than two seconds remaining in regulation to tie it and got the game winner from Marcus Johansson with less than 11 seconds remaining in overtime for the victory.

“That’s two games in a row that played out almost identical in a lot of different ways,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “And there’s no reason why we should let either of them get away on us.”

Andreas Athanasiou had a goal in each game for the Kings, while Jeff Carter has a goal and three assists to open the season.

In 80 minutes combined of the first and second periods so far this season, Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick has given up two total goals. In 50 minutes of the two third-period and overtime sessions, he has given up six.

–Field Level Media

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