L.A. Kings struggle in Denver; Avs’ Steve Downie leaves with knee injury

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Two games into the L.A. Kings’ Stanley Cup title defense has yielded a pair of losses for the surprise 2012 champs.

The Kings couldn’t hang on to a 1-0 third-period lead and ended up losing 3-1 to the Colorado Avalanche Tuesday night.

“I don’t worry,” Kings coach Darryl Sutter told NHL.com after the game. “It doesn’t solve much, does it?”

After a lengthy celebration in honour of their Stanley Cup victory last June, the Kings were soundly beaten Saturday by the Chicago Blackhawks, who are now 3-0 to begin the season.

And, from all accounts, the same thing happened for the majority of Tuesday’s showdown in Denver.

Even the folks behind the Kings Twitter feed (@LAKings) that garnered so much attention during the 2012 postseason for its 140-character comedy stylings were calling it as they saw fit against the Avalanche.

On the other side, the Avalanche, led by last season’s rookie of the year Gabriel Landeskog, are now 1-1-0-0 on the season.

Landeskog got the Avs on the board one minute into the third period. David Jones gave Colorado the lead just 1:35 later and P.A. Parenteau added the insurance marker just before the midway point of the final period.

“I thought we showed a lot of resiliency,” Avalanche coach Joe Sacco was quoted as saying in The Denver Post following the victory. “The first period, I wouldn’t call it ideal, from our standpoint. But we gathered ourselves.”

The win may have come with a price, however. Steve Downie left the game with what the Post reported was a right knee injury and did not return.