The Los Angeles Kings managed to weather an own-goal from Fredrik Modin and a game-tying back-breaker with 10 seconds left in regulation to beat Colorado 4-3 in overtime.
The Kings ground out their second straight hard-fought victory in a row in a low shooting affair against chief Conference competitor Colorado. The Kings finished the game with just 23 shots on goal through regulation and OT. Colorado had only 21. The lack of shots didn’t mean a lack of scoring though, with a combined total of 7 goals in the contest.
Colorado started the scoring when Fredrik Modin accidentally redirected Chris Stewart’s pass behind his own netminder. Modin has scored 3 goals in 9 games for the Kings, this was his first against them in a Kings uniform. Ryan Smyth knotted things up a little less than 3 minutes later on the powerplay. With Kyle Cumiskey in the box for interference, Smyth redirected Jarret Stoll’s pass to the goal mouth past Craig Anderson.
Each team had just 4 shots after 1 period of play.
Wayne Simmonds would score the lone second period goal on a backhand wraparound that beat Craig Anderson 5-hole.
Peter Mueller would knot it up again early in the third with a wrist shot on an odd-man rush for the Avs. Mueller finished the game with an assist as well and has 13 points in 10 games for the Avs since coming up from Phoenix.
Ryan Smyth would tally again to give the Kings the lead but the Kings would not be able to hold off the desperate Avalanche. With Anderson pulled, Colorado crashed the Kings net and T.J. Galiardi would slip one past Quick with just 10 seconds remaining.
Despite the quick shift in momentum, it was all Kings in OT. Ruslan Salei would take a crucial cross-checking penalty and Drew Doughty would make no mistake with a 4-on-3 powerplay. Doughty blasted a slapper past Anderson 3:40 into OT to take the crucial extra point in the Western Conference battle.
The Kings discipline was suspect, but the Avs were unable to make good on 5 powerplay opportunities. Stoll and Kopitar finished the night with 2 assists each, Ryan Smyth with a pair of goals.
The win gives the Kings 89 points and 5th place in the tight Western Conference race. The Avs gained a point but sit 2 points back of the Kings. The Kings possess a game at hand on Colorado. The Nashville Predators also have 89 points, however the Kings have 3 games at hand on them. The Kings sit 8 points back of 4th place Phoenix, but also have 3 games at hand.
Los Angeles’s playoffs hopes look bright as they sit 6 points ahead of 9th place Calgary with 2 games at hand.
The Kings hope to widen their lead in a rematch in Colorado on Wednesday night.
About the Author
Written by Eric Cooney
Eric Cooney was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina, and lives in Los Angeles, CA. He shares his thoughts on the NHL as one man who is a northerner, southerner, east coaster, and west coaster. Follow him on Twitter @EricCooney