Avs visit Kings for Western Conference showdown
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Colorado Avalanche will aim for a third straight win when they visit the Los Angeles Kings for a Western Conference battle at the Staples Center on Saturday.
The Avalanche have won two straight on the heels of an 0-3-0 stretch from Nov. 12-16. Colorado snapped its longest losing streak of the season with Tuesday's 5-1 win over visiting Chicago and then opened a brief two-game trek with Thursday's overtime decision in Phoenix.
Ryan O'Reilly's power-play tally with 41.1 seconds remaining in overtime lifted the Avalanche past the Coyotes, 4-3.
Phoenix forward Antoine Vermette gave the hosts a 3-2 edge with 5:54 remaining in regulation, but the visitors struck back with Cody McLeod's score at 16:46 of the third period to send the game to the extra session. Once there, the Avs failed to convert the final 1:32 of a charging call to Martin Hanzal, but ended the game after Keith Yandle was sent off for slashing with 1:35 to play in OT.
PA Parenteau slid a pass into the right circle, where O'Reilly beat Mike Smith to the far side.
"It would have been easy to feel sorry for ourselves when they took the lead 3-2, but I thought our guys were resilient again," said Avalanche coach Patrick Roy.
John Mitchell and Andre Benoit also tallied, with Parenteau adding two assists and Semyon Varlamov stopping 41 shots for the Avalanche.
Varlamov was in the news for an off-ice issue on Friday when he was formally charged with assault in a domestic violence incident by the Denver District Attorney. The 25-year-old was charged with one count of third-degree assault, a misdemeanor. He was arrested last month after he allegedly assaulted his girlfriend at their Denver home on Oct. 30. Varlamov was released from custody on a $5,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Denver County court on Dec. 2.
The Russian goaltender has compiled an 11-5-0 record with a 2.23 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage this season, his third with the Avalanche. It's uncertain if Varlamov or backup Jean-Sebastien Giguere will get the start on Saturday.
In injury news, Colorado has played the last two games without leading scorer Matt Duchene and he will miss another test tonight due to an oblique injury. Duchene leads Colorado in both goals (12) and points (20) this season.
Meanwhile, the Kings, who are currently playing without top goaltender Jonathan Quick, will try to get back in the win column Saturday after having a four-game streak halted with Thursday's home overtime loss against New Jersey. Jaromir Jagr scored the game-winner 2:30 into overtime to lift the Devils to a 2-1 win at Staples Center.
Justin Williams netted LA's only goal, while Ben Scrivens made just 13 saves for the Kings, who outshot New Jersey by a 35-13 margin in the loss.
"We definitely got lots of shots and lots of opportunities," Kopitar said. "We didn't bear down on them. That was the key to their success."
It was Scrivens' first loss in four starts since Quick injured his groin in a Nov. 12 overtime loss at Buffalo. Scrivens was saddled with the loss in a relief appearance in that game against the Sabres despite being credited with just one minute of playing time in OT.
Thursday's loss dropped the Kings to 8-3-1 on home ice this season. The club is completing a three-game homestand on Saturday.
Tonight's tilt marks the first of three meetings between the Avs and Kings this season. L.A. claimed two of the three encounters last season and has taken seven of 12 overall from Colorado.
The Avalanche have lost two straight and six of their last eight games in the City of Angels.
11/23 11:23:04 ET