Game 60; 32-22-6
DENVER - After watching their team fall behind 2-1 and then 4-2, fans of the Los Angeles Kings must have been rolling their eyes thinking here they go again. But one of the bright spots for the Kings has usually been their high level of resiliency - and that was on full display in the latter half of this game as the silver-and-black returned to their schedule on a positive note, beating the Colorado Avalanche by a 6-4 score.
The Kings got off on the right foor as, at the 5:48 mark of the first, Robyn Regehr slapped his third past J.S. Giguere to open the scoring. Anze Kopitar and Tyler Toffoli recorded the assists.
At the 1:17 mark, however, the Avalanche fought back. While on the power play, Ryan O'Reilly potted his 22nd past Martin Jones to tie the game. But they weren't done there as PA Parenteau scored his 11th just a few minutes later. Given the trouble they've had scoring, the Kings were not looking good entering the first intermission. But things did pick up.
Just 24 seconds into the second, Jarret Stoll tied it, scoring his seventh from Dustin Brown and Dwight King to tie the game. But at the 8:57 mark of the middle frame, the Avs would regain their lead.
Colorado would strike on the power play again as Jamie McGinn scored his 15th to put the home team back out in front. Then, at 15:42, Andre Benoit scored another power play goal to put Colorado up by a pair. It seemed as though the Avs were beginning to take control - but not so fast.
Just 1:07 after Benoit made it 4-2, Anze Kopitar, fresh off representing his native Slovenia in Sochi, backhanded his 18th past J.S. Giguere to pull the Kings to within a goal. Justin Williams and Slava Voynov helped out with the assists. Then, with just 1:07 remaining in the second, Mike Richards took a shot that was tipped in by Canadian gold-medallist Jeff Carter to tie the game. The goal was Carter's team-leading 21st with Matt Greene picking up the second helper.
In the third, it was the silver-and-black who struck first. 3:13 into the third, Anze Kopitar scored his second of the night to put the Kings up 5-4. Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli got the assists.
Despite allowing four goals (three on the power play), Martin Jones stood tall in net stopping all 11 shots he faced (25 overall) to preserve a very important win for his team. While many fans are still awaiting his new mask with team mascot Bailey on it, fans were nonetheless impressed with Jones's play in the latter stages of the game, keeping the Avs at bay while giving his team every chance to win.
On the other end, Justin Williams scored with 12 seconds remaining for good measure to put Los Angeles up 6-4 and that is how it ended. Carter's Canadian teammate Drew Doughty provided the lone assist.
The negatives of this game may seem obvious. Not only could the Kings not stay out of the penalty box but they couldn't keep the puck out of the net when they were a man down. As previously mentioned, the Avalanche scored three times on the man-advantage. Of course, with Los Angeles's resolve, those tallies weren't enough to win.
They end their season series with the Avs on a positive note but as long as the Kings work on their discipline and especially their penalty-kill, they will be a better team in the short-term.
It was a hard-earned two points but there's no rest for the Kings as they are right back to work on Thursday when they travel north to Calgary to take on Mike Cammalleri and the rebuilding Flames.