Game 40 (19-14-7)
LOS ANGELES – Although the Kings picked up a point to remain in top spot in the Pacific, they were hoping for a better outcome as they fall to Colorado in the shootout, where the Avs have excelled this season.
On a night honouring former King Darryl Evans, Los Angeles opened the scoring early in the second when Dustin Brown charged in to finish off a play started by Mike Richards. Colorado goaltender Semyon Varlamov stopped Anze Kopitar on the wraparound but Brown got to the loose puck before he did and the Kings were up as a result.
In the third, it was Avs’ leading goal-scorer Ryan O’Reilly who tied the game, ultimately sending the game into the shootout. Milan Hejduk scored the lone goal and the Avs will now leave Los Angeles with three straight wins.
Although many might say that the Kings’ power play could have been better (and they may be right to say so) but we’d have to rewind back to the first period to point out one of the game’s biggest factors.
Early in the first, a Jack Johnson point shot got tipped by Justin Williams and into the net behind Varlamov. The goal was immediately waved off but the referees went upstairs to review. The issue was whether or not Williams’ stick was above the crossbar. Despite multiple replays showing Williams’ stick was just underneath the crossbar when it made contact with the puck, the call on the ice stood and the Kings were disallowed a goal.
On another note, Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams each had five shots, which led their team on this night. Overall, though, the Kings played a good game, despite the lack of scoring but a point’s a point and the Kings, whether they like it or not, will take it.
Now, it’s a couple days off for the Kings as they prepare for their next battle, which will take place on Thursday night when they welcome the Phoenix Coyotes to town.
Photo: Courtesy of Jay LaPrete/AP Photo