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Kings right back on track with win over Avalanche

December 5, 2023, 2:49 AM ET [12 Comments]
Ben Shelley
Los Angeles Kings Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
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In a battle between two of the Western Conference’s best teams, the Los Angeles Kings took down the Colorado Avalanche at home last night, picking up a 4-1 win.

It looked like the Kings had opened the scoring early on, when Kevin Fiala took a wrist shot from the slot that went off both posts but never went in, despite celebrations from a few players on Los Angeles, including Fiala himself. Then a little later, despite Los Angeles killing off an Avalanche power play later, Josh Manson managed to put Colorado ahead early, taking a pass from Mikko Ranatanen on a rush to beat Cam Talbot. It stayed a fairly quiet frame from there though, with the teams combining for just 12 shots.

The game opened up a little from there in the second period, with each team getting opportunities off the rush, and Trevor Lewis and Anze Kopitar both being denied in alone. However, midway through the frame, Mikey Anderson’s shot off a rush was tipped in by Quinton Byfield, tying the game for the Kings. Los Angeles had to kill a penalty after that but didn’t allow Colorado to get much going this time, and managed to get to intermission tied.

Then in the third period, Los Angeles really took over the game. While the Kings couldn’t capitalize on an early power play chance, they went on to outshoot Colorado 22-5 in the frame, before Quinton Byfield finally put the Kings ahead with his second goal of the game off a tap-in from Adrian Kempe. Then under a minute later, Trevor Moore spun off a check, drove to the net and roofed a shot over Alexandar Georgiev on a great solo effort, extending the lead.

Los Angeles held on from there, with Drew Doughty icing the game on an empty netter for a 4-1 Kings win.

It was a nice bounce-back result for the Kings, after their five-game win streak was snapped against the Washington Capitals last week, in a loss where they really deserved a better fate.

Los Angeles has continued to benefit from a great level of consistency from game to game, and it’s not insignificant that they were able to quickly recover for a win over a team like the Avalanche. While we saw a relatively even first 40 minutes, the Kings dominated the third period.

It was also a special night for Anze Kopitar, who passed Marcel Dionne to become the franchise leader in assists, with 758. Meanwhile, Trevor Moore continues to score at a completely unexpected rate, notching his 12th goal of the year, and Cam Talbot was as good as we’ve now come to expect.

At this point, the Kings are in a tight race for the top of the Pacific Division, with the Vegas Golden Knights and Vancouver Canucks. All three are on a completely different level from the rest of the teams in the division, plus, the Kings have four games in hand on both teams.

Looking a little ways down the road as the Pacific Division race continues, I think it’s a legitimate question as to whether this team even looks to make a notable addition to bulk up later on. There are seemingly almost no holes in the lineup, and I don’t think there’s really a clear position even in need of an upgrade. Maybe we see an upgrade over Pheonix Copley, but that'll probably really depend on the next month or two (and the team still has David Rittich as well).

The Kings have now gone 12-2-2 over their last 16 games, and they’ve established a couple times that this isn’t just a hot stretch to start the year: the team is capable of taking a loss and rebounding right away to go on another run.

They’ll kickstart a four-game Eastern Conference road trip tomorrow, when they face the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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