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.
Antoine Vermette, Michael Stone and Tobias Rieder scored first period goals for the Arizona Coyotes chasing Colorado Avalanche starter Reto Berra after three goals on eight shots.
However, it was all Colorado after that.
Captain Gabriel Landeskog got the visitors on the board in the second period. Landeskog added his second of the night, and sixth of the season, in the third to pull the Avs to within one. Matt Duchene tied the game 3-3 at 4:05 of the third.
After hitting Colorado defenseman Erik Johnson with an elbow to the head early in overtime, Martin Hanzal put the puck into his own net for the overtime-winner, which was credited to Daniel Briere.
“We were resilient tonight. I think that is the story of the night,” Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said post-game. “Down 0- 3 and coming back. Like I said to the guys, ‘lets go and win the second period’ and see where we are after.
“I mean all last year I was reading a lot of comments on how resilient we were and we were playing with no fear. We were always going at the other team and that’s what we did.”
Roy did not have an update on Johnson, who may have suffered a concussion on the play.
Pickard was perfect in relief making 25 saves for his second win of the season and second win in as many games. The 22-year-old rookie stopped all 17 shots he faced in relief on Saturday in the Avs 4-3 win over Carolina.
Asked post-game if he had to tell Semyon Varlamov he had a new No. 1 goaltender, Roy had a good laugh.
“I guess so. We’re going to go with Pickard tomorrow,” he said. “It’s a tough stretch right now for Reto and unfortunately for him… but good for us Calvin’s playing well.”
The Colorado Avalanche were blanked 6-0 by the New York Islanders on Tuesday night. The Avs (4-8-5) now have just one win in six games and one regulation win on the road this season (1-5-3).
“Obviously last year everything was bouncing our way,” coach Patrick Roy said post-game. “Right now, it’s tougher, but at the same time, I’ll say this: we need to stay together, we need to continue to work hard at the things that we’ve been doing well.
“Tonight was just a bad game and we need to regroup tomorrow, have a good practice and be ready for the Rangers.”
Nick Leddy and Anders Lee gave the Islanders a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes. Travis Hamonic and Nikolay Kulemin made it 4-0 after two periods. Then Casey Cizikas and Ryan Strome each added their firsts of the season in the third.
“They played really well, have to give them credit they were really intense,” Roy said. “They were jumping on a lot of pucks, they put pucks at the net, I mean they did a lot of good things.”
Semyon Varlamov allowed six goals on 46 shots and saw his record fall to 2-5-4 on the season. Jaroslav Halak made 20 saves for his 30th career shutout. The Islanders outshot the Avalanche 13-5 in the first period while Colorado had just 15 shots on goal in the final 40 minutes.
“It’s a team that’s much improved,” Roy said of the Islanders. “It’s a game where we were not at our best without a doubt. We knew we need to be better in order to win that type of game, for sure.”