The Colorado Avalanche (37-17-5, 79 points) would fall in the first game back from the Olympic Break to the Los Angeles Kings, 6-4. Colorado would take a 4-2 lead earlier in the game but Los Angeles would score four unanswered to take the victory in Denver.
The Los Angeles Kings would strike first at the 5:48 mark as forward Robyn Regehr would collect his third goal of the season shooting it past Avalanche goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere to put the Kings up 1-0. Anze Kopitar and Tyler Toffoli would pick up the assists. Moments later, Ryan O’Reilly would receive a nice pass from Matt Duchene but O’Reilly’s shot would hit off the post as the goal horn prematurely sounded.
Robyn Regehr would get called out in front of the net for a penalty as Colorado would go on their first power-play of the night. At the 8:43 mark, Ryan O’Reilly would shoot it just out of the reach of Martin Jones as the Avalanche tied it up at one apiece. Nick Holden and Jamie McGinn would pick up the helpers on the O’Reilly goal tying the game up at one.
Matt Duchene would muscle his way behind the net as the center spun and made an exceptional pass to forward P.A. Parenteau who was out in front of the net and swiped it in. Parenteau would earn his 11th goal of the season — it was his first goal in the last eleven contests as Colorado took the 2-1 lead heading into the first intermission.
The Los Angeles Kings jumped out of the gates quick in the second as the defensive pairing unit of Tyson Barrie and Ryan Wilson allowed a Dustin Brown breakaway that would be stuffed by Giguere. Brown would stick with the play as he found teammate Jarret Stoll out in front of the net as he knocked in his 7th goal of the season. Dwight King and Dustin Brown picked up the helpers as the Kings tied it at two.
The Avalanche defense was struggling as this time Jeff Carter took the breakaway that Giguere would kick save. Carter would be called for a penalty a few minutes later which proved to be a big mistake. Ryan O’Reilly made a nice pass to winger Jamie McGinn who was cutting towards the net and he tapped it in for his 15th goal of the season on the power-play. Matt Duchene and Ryan O’Reilly exhibited some nice, quick passes to set up the goal as Colorado took the 3-2 lead.
Later in the second period Dustin Brown would get called for a goaltender interference and it proved costly. Rookie Nathan MacKinnon would take a shot that rebounded off of Martin Jones and would ricochet off of defenseman Andre Benoit into the net collecting his 3rd goal of the season. Paul Stastny would pick up the assist with MacKinnon who would extend his consecutive game point streak to nine games as Colorado went up 4-2. The Kings would strike right back as Anze Kopitar was at the right spot at the right time — collecting his 18th goal of the season to reduce the lead to one, 4-3.
The Kings continued to push their way past the Avalanche defense as Mike Richards set up Jeff Carter for his 21st goal of the season to tie the game up at four apiece. Matt Greene would also pick up the assist on the game-tying goal as the Avalanche and Kings headed into the second intermission. Nick Holden would be sent to the box in the third for a boarding penalty, setting up the Kings on yet another power-play. They would convert as Anze Kopitar would get credit for a goal where the puck bounced above the head of Giguere and back down into the net as the Kings took the lead 5-4. Kopitar would collect his second goal of the game.
Colorado would go on the power-play with 3:24 remaining in the game as Matt Greene made a terrible play, interfering with Jamie McGinn. Colorado would fail to score as they pulled Giguere with :40 seconds remaining on the advantage. Justin Williams would pick up the puck as it was dumped out and was just onsides to score his 15th goal of the season to ensure the Kings victory, 6-4. Martin Jones made a couple of big-time saves late in the game to preserve the Kings victory.
3: Jeff Carter (LAK) – One goal, one assist.
2: Ryan O’Reilly (COL) – One goal, one assist.
1: Anze Kopitar (LAK) – Two goals, one assist.
The Colorado Avalanche (37-17-5, 79 points) return to action Friday night at home against the Phoenix Coyotes. Puck-drop is scheduled for 9:00 PM ET, 7:00 PM MT.