Low-scoring Kings welcome Avs to LA
The Los Angeles Kings have scored one goal or less six times in their last 11 games and somehow managed to suffer just one regulation loss over that stretch.
The low-scoring Kings are 5-1-5 in their last 11 trips to the ice and they will try to rebound from a shootout loss when they host the Colorado Avalanche tonight at the Staples Center.
Los Angeles, which is seeded seventh in the Western Conference, has used consistently excellent goaltending from Jonathan Quick to stay afloat this season, as the club is dead last in the NHL with an average of just 2.12 goals per game.
Quick, who has a 1.92 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage in 40 games this year, stopped 24-of-25 shots this Thursday against Calgary, but Mike Cammalleri scored the winner in the shootout to lift the visiting Flames to the 2-1 decision.
In the second round, Cammalleri deked back to the forehand and buried his chance past Quick. Mike Richards had the last chance for Los Angeles, but his wrist shot was stopped by Miikka Kiprusoff.
Dustin Brown scored the only goal of the game for the Kings, who have gone past regulation in three straight and six of their last nine outings.
"It was two pretty even teams out there tonight," said Los Angeles head coach Darryl Sutter. "No one wanted to give anything and it showed on the scoreboard. A real hard fought game."
The Kings also enter today just one point behind San Jose for first place in the Pacific Division and the third seed in the West. The Sharks are visiting Vancouver this afternoon.
Thursday's setback came at the start of a four-game homestand and dropped LA to 13-10-4 as the host this year. Colorado, meanwhile, has lost three of its last four on the road to fall to 11-10-2 as the visiting club this year. The Avalanche will complete a brief two-game road trip when they visit Anaheim tomorrow.
Colorado, which is seeded eighth in the West and is just four points behind LA in the standings, posted a 4-3 overtime win on home ice this Wednesday, as the Avs downed the Florida Panthers thanks to a game-winning goal by Ryan O'Reilly.
O'Reilly scored the winner with 65 seconds left in overtime, as he snapped a wrister on net from the right circle and beat Jose Theodore for the victory.
Peter Mueller had two goals and an assist while Paul Stastny tied the game late in the third for the Avalanche, who had lost four of five coming into the game. Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 26 stops for the win.
Colorado defenseman Jan Hejda missed Wednesday's game with a groin injury and is questionable for tonight.
The Avalanche have won both meetings against LA this season, posting a win at home and on the road. The Kings still have eight victories over the last 11 encounters overall and Colorado snapped a four-game road skid in this series with a shootout win at the Staples Center on Jan. 2.