Avs shoot for season sweep of Kings

Last night, the Kings found the offense they have been so sorely lacking but it still resulted in a third straight loss.

Los Angeles looks to rebound this evening and avoid a season series sweep at the hands of the hosting Colorado Avalanche.

The Kings' struggles with scoring have been well documented this season, with the club ranking dead last in the NHL with 124 goals. They have been shut out eight times on the season, including consecutive 1-0 setbacks going into last night's meeting at Phoenix.

Los Angeles looked to have blasted out of its funk after getting goals from Drew Doughty, Andrei Loktionov and Dustin Brown in the game's first 15 minutes, but some poor discipline ultimately resulted in a 5-4 shootout loss.

The Kings, who also got a goal from Justin Williams, allowed a pair of power- play goals early in the second and also saw Phoenix net the game-tying goal while up a man after winger Kyle Clifford was whistled for a game misconduct for a shot to the head of the Coyotes' Gilbert Brule.

Brown tied the shootout in the second round, but Mikkel Boedker responded by beating Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick and Jack Johnson missed the net as the final skater.

Quick ended with 25 saves as the Kings lost for the fifth time in six games.

"When you give up three power-play goals on the road, you're going to have a tough time winning," Kings head coach Daryl Sutter said.

Though Los Angeles will be trying to avoid its longest losing streak since a five-game skid from Dec. 3-13, the point earned last night did give it sole possession of eighth place in the Western Conference. The Kings moved one ahead of the Flames, while the Avalanche sit four back of the final playoff position.

Colorado can close the gap this evening with its first season series sweep of Los Angeles since relocating from Quebec. The Avalanche had lost seven of eight to the Kings, including getting swept in the four-game series last year, before outscoring Los Angeles 8-4 in the three meetings this year.

The Avs snapped a three-game home losing streak to the Kings with a 3-2 win back on Oct. 30 and should have a bit of a tougher edge tonight after acquiring forward Steve Downie from the Lightning on Tuesday for defenseman Kyle Quincey.

Downie had 12 goals, 28 points and 121 penalty minutes in 55 games with Tampa Bay this year and logged 14 points in 17 playoff games last season in the Lightning's march to the Eastern Conference finals.

"Our organization believes that Steve Downie will add grit and skill to our lineup offensively," said Avalanche general manager and executive vice president Greg Sherman. "He plays the game with an edge and we look forward to seeing the immediate and future impact he can bring to our team."

Colorado made the move days after a 5-1 loss in Winnipeg, its third loss in four games.

"Overall, we just weren't good enough tonight in all areas of the game. I don't think we had everybody here on deck tonight," Avalanche head coach Joe Sacco said.

Gabriel Landeskog lit the lamp for Colorado and Semyon Varlamov allowed all five goals on 25 shots to take the loss.