Sports

Kings aim to keep rolling against Avs

(SportsNetwork.com) - The surging Los Angeles Kings look to match their longest winning streak of the season on Wednesday night as they visit the Colorado Avalanche.

The Kings finished off a perfect three-game homestand with Monday's 3-2 decision over the Tampa Bay Lightning, their fifth consecutive win. That is one shy of the season-high six in a row they won from Oct. 12-26.

Los Angeles' run has put it right back into the playoff picture, with the Kings just two points back of a wild card spot and three out of second place in the Pacific Division.

Jordan Nolan and Jeff Carter scored third-period goals in Monday's win over Tampa Bay. Nolan took a feed from Dwight King and put home a backhander 3:36 into the frame and Carter added a key insurance goal with 6:01 left.

"It was a big turning point in the game," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said of Nolan's goal. "I think we scored big goals tonight."

King had two assists, giving him three goals and four helpers over his past four games, Anze Kopitar scored his first goal in 11 game and Jonathan Quick posted 21 saves.

Quick is 9-4-1 lifetime versus the Avalanche with a 2.54 goals against average, .901 save percentage and two shutouts in 15 meetings.

Colorado has five fewer points than the Kings, but has followed up a four-game slide with back-to-back wins. The Avalanche will try to close out a four-game homestand with another victory tonight after having topped the Arizona Coyotes 5-2 on Monday.

Matt Duchene had a goal and an assist to lead the charge, while Cody McLeod, Nick Holden, Tyson Barrie and Gabriel Landeskog all scored. Jarome Iginla and Zach Redmond had two assists each.

"It was a good game tonight. The offense is rolling better right now and it was really good to get a power-play goal," said Duchene. "I thought we were so good offensively tonight that it really took care of our defense."

In his 13th straight start, Semyon Varlamov made four saves on just five shots faced through 40 minutes as the Avalanche did not allow a shot in the second period. Varlamov was then pulled by head coach Patrick Roy for some rest in favor of Reto Berra, who made 11 saves to close out the contest.

Varlamov figures to start tonight and is a solid 5-2-1 lifetime versus the Kings in eight meetings, posting a 1.83 GAA and .937 save percentage.

The Kings are 4-0-1 in their past five versus the Avs, but have lost three of the last four in Colorado.