Avalanche vs Kings – Game Recap – March 15, 2022

LOS ANGELES — Darcy Kuemper made 23 saves for his second straight shutout, Valeri Nichushkin and JT Compher scored on the power play and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Los Angeles Kings 3-0 on Tuesday night.

Mikko Rantanen had a goal and an assist as the Avalanche continued their run for a second straight Presidents’ Trophy by becoming the first team this season to break the 90-point mark.

Kuemper continued his 46-save performance in a 3-0 win over Calgary on Sunday with his fifth shutout of the season. It was the second time in two months he had consecutive shutouts after doing so against Dallas on Feb. 13 and Vegas on Feb. 16.

“He’s playing with a ton of confidence, and that carries over to the rest of our team,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said.

Jonathan Quick allowed three goals on 27 shots for the Kings, who are 1-2-1 in their last four games.

“We have to pick up a bit, said defender Olli Maatta. “I know we miss a lot of guys, but everyone who comes in, we know how good they are and what they can do. just have to find a way.

Colorado’s dangerous special teams capitalized on each of their first two power plays, with Nichushkin rushing into the slot to place Rantanen’s center pass at 6:36 of the first period.

Compher put Colorado ahead 2-0 with 29 seconds left in the second by redirecting Cale Makar’s shot long. Makar was instrumental in the streak coming down to break Anze Kopitar’s shorthanded breakaway and forcing his shot wide before the Avalanche got their league-leading 51st goal with the advantage. ‘a man.

Although known for his ability to put the puck in the net, especially on the power play, Colorado seemed equally adept at limiting a speedy Los Angeles team that thrived on racking up chances in its second-fewest shots this season.

“I think we didn’t really give them anything in the run, and once we got into the zone we got close quickly, taking away time and space from them. And when they were receiving shots, they were on the outside and I could see them, and the guys did an amazing job in front of me, Kuemper said.


Defenseman Josh Manson made his Avalanche debut after being acquired from Anaheim in a Monday trade. Manson settled in quickly after eight seasons with the Ducks, finishing with plus-1 rating, one shot and 10 hits in 18:13 as he hopes to add courage to a group known for its offensive skills.

“I think they have so much talent here that all I have to do is just come in and fly under the radar and help keep pushing the team in the right direction,” said Manson before the game. “Doing the little things that I often do goes unnoticed, and I think that’s the best way to describe it is if I don’t get noticed, then that’s probably a good thing.”

Colorado made another trade on Tuesday, picking up last-six forward Nico Sturm from Minnesota in exchange for Tyson Jost. Sturm has nine goals and eight assists in 53 games this season, and his contract frees up some salary cap space over Jost’s if the Avalanche decide to make another acquisition before the trade deadline.


Kings defenseman Tobias Bjornfot hasn’t played after sustaining a lower-body injury against Florida on Sunday and that’s day to day. Bjornfot’s absence meant that Los Angeles had none of its six defensemen who played on Opening Night in the lineup against the Avalanche.

“As they fight it gets harder and harder,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “You get deeper in the batting order and guys end up playing a lot more minutes against opponents they normally wouldn’t play against, and that catches up to you.”

There could be at least one reinforcement on the way as Alex Edler made contact in training on Tuesday for the first time since breaking his ankle on December 11 and is set to return by the end of the month.


Bednar said forward Gabriel Landeskog has already gone through rehabilitation after undergoing knee surgery, and Colorado’s leading scorer with 30 goals believes he’ll be playoff ready.

“We are waiting for our doctors to get to the doctor who performed the operation and give us a specific timeline or a tentative timeline for his return, but Gabe is feeling fine,” Bednar said.


Avalanche: In San José on Saturday evening.

Kings: Host San Jose on Thursday night.


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