Video: Kings stretch streak to six with win over Avs

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Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog opened the scoring with his 14th of the season at 3:09 of the first period; however, it was all L.A. after that.

Jeff Carter tied it 1-1 at 1:16 of the second and Tyler Toffoli scored the eventual game winner at 6:24 of the middle frame as the L.A. Kings defeated the Colorado Avalanche 4-1 Wednesday night.

Drew Doughty had a pair of assists in the win.

“With the way the schedule is and the way the season is and the importance of every game, you need something out of everybody,” said Kings’ coach Darryl Sutter. “It’s really hard to play guys who have only got five or six goals. We need more out of [them]. If they’re going to play teen-minutes as forwards, you have to get more out of them, and what you’re seeing is some balance out of our forward group.”

L.A. has now won six straight while out-scoring opponents 23-12 during the win streak. The Kings now have the same point total as the San Jose Sharks (66) for the second wild card spot in the Western Conference.

Jonathan Quick made 42 saves in the win including 18 in the second period.

Semyon Varlamov stopped 21 shots in the loss.

“I can’t complain,” said Avs coach Patrick Roy. “I understand it’s frustrating because that was a big game for us. At the same time, I’m very happy with the effort. I’m very happy with how we competed. I’m very happy with how hard we worked, back checked [and] our fore-check was there.

“We got a lot of shots [and] we had a lot of traffic in front of the net. I thought we did a lot of good things. Nothing to show for it tonight, but I think this is how we have to play.”

Carter added his second of the night into an empty net. Dustin Brown had the other Kings’ goal.

Tonight marked the first of three games between the two clubs. They’ll meet again on March 10 in Denver.

NHL on NBCSN: Kings look to continue surge against Colorado

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Wednesday’s Rivalry Night coverage on NBCSN will feature a doubleheader. The second half will see the Colorado Avalanche host the Los Angeles Kings at Pepsi Center at 10:00 p.m. ET. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game online.

With five straight victories, the Kings are one of the hottest teams in the league right now, but that’s after they dug themselves into a sizable hole. They’re still on the outside looking in when it comes to the Wild Card race and if they slip now, it won’t be long before the Minnesota Wild and Dallas Stars pass them.

So every game remains critical for the Kings as they look to extend their winning streak tonight. If this game is important to Los Angeles though, it’s vital for Colorado.

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $50,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Wednesday’s NHL games. It’s just $25 to join and first prize is $5,000. Starts Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

The Avalanche are seven points back in the fight for a playoff spot and also trail hopefuls Los Angeles, Minnesota, and Dallas. That’s a ton of ground for the Avalanche to make up with less than two months left in the 2014-15 campaign. To put that into context, the Avalanche have just a 4% chance of making the playoffs at this point, per Sports Club Stats. That falls to 2.1% if they lose to the Kings in regulation time tonight.

“Every day we come to the rink, we’re focused on that next two,” Avalanche center Matt Duchene told the Denver Post. “We’ve played pretty well recently. Even that New York game, I thought we played pretty well and could have had two points there. We’ll continue to press forward.”

Like Los Angeles, Colorado has indeed played well lately. The squad earned decisive victories against Dallas and Arizona on Saturday and Monday respectively. The Avalanche even managed to prevent the Coyotes from recording a single shot on goal for an entire period, which is a rare feat to say the least.

Jarome Iginla has also stepped up with two goals and seven points in his last four contests. He’ll be countered by Los Angeles’ Jeff Carter and Dwight King, who have each registered seven points in their last four games.

This is the first meeting between these two squads in 2014-15, but they’re also scheduled to play on March 10 and April 4. The Avalanche were 1-1-1 against the Kings in 2013-14 and under the circumstances, they likely need a better showing this time around. First things first though; both squads will compete for tonight’s key points.

Carter, King stay hot as Kings’ winning streak reaches five

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The defending Stanley Cup champions have been living up to that title lately. They’ve had a trying campaign, but Los Angeles is now on a five-game winning streak after earning a 3-2 victory against Tampa Bay.

Dwight King and Jeff Carter were once again major contributors. King had two assists, giving him seven points in his last four contests as part of the new look “70s Line.” Carter, another member of that trio, accounted for the game-winning goal.

Carter has two goals and five assists in his last four contests. He leads the team with 43 points in 56 games this season.

Los Angeles is two points shy of the second Wild Card spot, which is currently occupied by the San Jose Sharks. However, if the Kings stay hot they could do far better than a Wild Card seed. Currently just three points separate them and second place in the Pacific Division.

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King enjoying life on new-look ’70s Line’

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Right time, right place and right jersey number for Dwight King — the burly forward has been on fire since replacing the injured Tanner Pearson on Los Angeles’ “70’s Line” next to Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli.

“They’ve got great chemistry within themselves,” King said of his new linemates, per NHL.com. “For a large amount of time, they’ve been successful together. It’s been pretty easy for me to read off them. They’re both predictable players, and that makes it easy for myself. I’ve just got to go out there and work for them and create space and good things tend to happen.”

King, a natural fit with his No. 74 sweater, is thriving right alongside No. 77 (Carter) and No. 73 (Toffoli). The trio has combined for nine goals and nine assists the past four games — all Kings wins — and Toffoli was named the NHL’s second star of the week earlier today.

King, meanwhile, is on a career-high three-game scoring streak — he has five points over that stretch — and is five goals shy of his career high of 15, which he set last season.

This offensive explosion couldn’t have come at a better time. During a four-week stretch (from Jan. 3 to Feb. 3) in which the Kings had just three regulation wins, goals were hard to come by; the low point came during a three-game losing streak against Boston, Washington and Florida in which the defending Cup champs mustered just three goals.

Tonight, King and the Kings will look to make it five wins in a row when they host Tampa Bay at Staples. The 25-year-old is hopeful he and his linemates can keep rolling.

“We’ve been pretty good even when we haven’t been on the scoreboard, so that gets you into games a little more so than trying to fight for it,” he said. “It’s nice that they’ve been there.”

Look out: Carter, Toffoli power impressive Kings win

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Tonight is Jonas Hiller’s 33rd birthday, so the Calgary Flames gave him the gift of not having to face the Los Angeles Kings’ hot offense for a full 60 minutes.

After managing a 2-2 tie through two periods despite being heavily out-played, Hiller and the Flames caved in during the final frame.

Los Angeles scored three unanswered goals to chase Hiller about eight minutes into the third period, and while the Flames scored later on to make the score more presentable, there was no question which team owned the play on Thursday.

Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli’s impressive nights stood out the most among some dominant Kings performances.

Carter collected three assists, pushing his career points total to 501 by the end of the night. Toffoli scored an absolutely sublime goal to get a hat trick:

Yeah, not sure exactly what Hiller could have done there. He ultimately gave way to Karri Ramo after stopping 35 out of 40 shots.

Sure, there were moments when the Kings’ frustrating times still showed through, even while wearing their flashy throwback duds and as they carried much of the play. Jonathan Quick’s frustrations surfaced here and there, as you can see after this goal:

Overall, the Kings looked familiar even in their unusual uniforms, as they stand as the team many top West teams hope to avoid. They’ve won three games in a row and now find themselves just three points behind the Flames (with a game in hand) in the race to lock up a wild card spot.

(The Minnesota Wild are even hotter and have one more point than the Kings in one more game played, so it’s obvious that Los Angeles has to overcome more than Calgary’s Cinderella run …)

Anyway, the Kings have a long way to go to secure a playoff spot, but they’re starting to look like that world-beating bunch yet again. It’s one sequel that few outside of Hollywood look forward to seeing …