After a disappointing 5-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night, the Colorado Avalanche desperately needed some home cooking in order to get back on track. Fortunately for them, the Avalanche were able to channel their offense in Denver as they kicked off their four-game home stand with a 7-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday afternoon.
Before the game began, the Kings were ranked second to last in the Western Conference with 42 points and a 19-25-4 record. With that being said, the Avalanche did not want to repeat the same performance from three nights ago against the Senators in front of their home crowd.
Avalanche forward Carl Soderberg started the scoring a little under 10 minutes into the contest. The 33-year-old was parked in front of Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick and was able to jam the puck over the goal line. Soderberg now has four goals in his last three games since being upgraded to the second-line.
The second frame was where the majority of the action happened. In the second, the Avalanche tied a franchise record by scoring a whopping six goals according to NHL.com.
The onslaught began with a power play goal from Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog merely 32 seconds into the period. The tally puts the Swedish native at 29 goals on the season which is tied for fifth in the league.
Less than two minutes later, Alexander Kerfoot tipped home a shot from the point by defenseman Tyson Barrie to make the score 3-0.
On the Avalanche’s second power play, Mikko Rantanen patiently out waited Kings defenseman Drew Doughty before firing the puck past Quick high glove side with a little over seven minutes into the frame.
Less than two minutes later, the Kings were granted a power play. However, it was the Avalanche who would be the ones scoring. Just 16 seconds into the man advantage, forward Sheldon Dries whacked the puck out of mid-air and into the back of the net after Quick had denied a shorthanded breakaway opportunity by left-winger Matt Calvert. Quick’s night was done after that goal as Jack Campbell entered the game in relief.
Although the lead was already 5-0, the Avalanche were not done scoring. Rantanen notched his second goal of the contest with a little under six and a half minutes left in the second period. The 22-year-old stole the puck from Kings forward Nate Thompson and then weaved around defenseman Derek Forbort before lifting the rubber biscuit over Campbell.
A minute and twenty-four seconds later, forward Colin Wilson capped off the Avalanche’s scoring barrage in the second with a breakaway tally.
The third period was a lot less entertaining than the second. The Kings scored their only goal of the contest with a little over 12 minutes left in the game. While on a five-on-three power play, forward Ilya Kovalchuk unloaded a heavy slap shot past goaltender Semyon Varlamov to deny him of a shutout.
The 7-1 victory improves the Avalanche’s record to 22-18-8. The team is now barely clinging on to the third seed in the Central Division with 52 points.
However, the win did not come without a little bit of bad news. Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson suffered a concussion after taking a puck to the face in the first period according to NHL.com. The 30-year-old is expected to miss at least two games.
In addition, Avalanche fans underwent a bit of a scare after Rantanen did not play in the third period. The Finnish native was expressing discomfort and holding his groin after nearly doing the splits to score his second goal. However, Rantanen was only pulled out of the game for precautionary reasons and will not miss any playing time according to theScore.
The Avalanche continue their home stand against the Nashville Predators which will take place on Monday afternoon. The Avalanche are currently 1-1-0 against the Predators this season. They fell 4-1 in Denver on November, 7 but defeated them in Nashville 3-2 on November, 27.
At the moment, the Predators are eight points above the Avalanche with 60 and have a 28-18-4 record. However, the Predators will be without their leading point getter Ryan Johansen who is serving a two-game suspension after slashing Winnipeg Jets forward Mark Scheifele in the head according to theScore.