The Colorado Avalanche took care of business against the Los Angeles Kings, defeating them 3-2 for the second night in a row Saturday night.
Their final game in the state of California ended in the win column, with the scoring coming from the defense. They lead the line offensively scoring all three goals on the night.
The result sets up “the daddy of them all” - as Altitude TV said all night - against the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday night that might make or break the playoff matchups for the Avalanche.
Things got off to a flying start for the Avs. Similar to the theme of last night, the Avs had chance after chance. Devon Toews would capitalize on a Kings turnover with a snapshot in front of Cal Petersen to make it 1-0.
The Kings would start growing back into the game, getting some slight chances on Jonas Johansson. But after a Brendan Lemieux tripping penalty, Cale Makar would release a bomb into the back of the Kings net to make it 2-0 on the power play.
Things were going all the Avs way, but the Kings would get a response when Sean Walker snuck in behind the Avs defense and cut the deficit in half.
The Kings would continue to push the issue, asking a lot of Johansson late in the frame before heading into the room.
The period started a lot more compact, with the Kings not allowing many chances going forward for the Avs. But, they could barely get things going forward themselves.
Alex Newhook and Conor Timmins both got great chances in the frame but could not convert. Their times for their first career goals are coming, it’s simply a matter of time.
The Avs did capitalize again through Toews’s second goal of the night when Makar made a beautiful move to set it up and double the lead to 3-1.
The Avs would get another power play where they did everything but score, including Petersen absolutely robbing Nazem Kadri point blank.
The Kings had a late flurry of chances to end the period but the Avs, for the second night in a row, would go into the intermission with a two-goal advantage.
The Avalanche took their first and only penalty of the night when Mikko Rantanen was called for tripping. And unfortunately, it cost them as Rasmus Kupari got his first NHL goal and got his Kings within one.
The Avs would get their own power play chance after Newhook drew a tripping penalty but could not convert. The Kings got away with some questionable no-calls for holding, tripping and slashing for the rest of the game.
The third period flew by, with nearly 12 minutes of no whistles that saw the Kings kick it into extra gear looking for the equalizer. Johansson made some big saves when he needed to, and the Avalanche get the best of the Kings for the second night in a row in a 3-2 win.
The difference in the game was the defensive scoring, specifically from Toews and Makar. They contributed to all three goals that ended up making the difference in the game. Makar’s phenomenal skating and Toews’s finishing should be leaving fans salivating at the mouth to see what they can do in the playoffs.
This was nearly a carbon-copy of Friday night’s matchup between these two clubs. The Avs were nowhere near perfect against a subpar opponent. The Avs will be looking to kill off games sooner, especially against harder opponents in the playoffs.
While the Avs have had their way the last two nights, their opponents in the West are doing just the same. The Minnesota Wild won once again in OT against the Ducks, and the Vegas Golden Knights would beat the St. Louis Blues once again, keeping their division lead of four points over the Avs. Meanwhile, the Wild stay one point behind the Avs. The Avs need to keep their foot on the gas, hope to catch up to Vegas, and stay ahead of the Wild.
The Avalanche will play the Vegas Golden Knights in a humongous game for their final regular season road game. It could make or break the Avs chances for the top seed in the West and home-ice advantage. Puck drop is set for 8 p.m. MT on Monday night.
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St. Louis Blues