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(Saturday, December 21st)
Final Score: Los Angeles 3, Colorado 2 (SO)
Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Anze Kopitar recorded the only goal in the shootout, allowing Martin Jones to grab a share of an NHL rookie record, as Los Angeles claimed a 3-2 victory over Colorado at Staples Center.
Kopitar bested Semyon Varlamov to kick off the second round, and Jones backed it up by stopping Matt Duchene, PA Parenteau and Ryan O'Reilly in turn to record the eighth straight win to start his career.
"It's been good," was Jones' understatement of his initial NHL sojourn. "I've said it before it's a good start, but it's something to build off of and make sure we keep getting better here. I thought we deserved to win in regulation today. I think we needed one more big save that we didn't get in regulation there, but the guys did a really good job."
Bob Froese held the record since beginning his rookie campaign (1982-83) with the Philadelphia Flyers by winning his first eight appearances.
Jeff Carter and Justin Williams tallied in regulation for the Kings, who have won three in a row and nine of their last 10. Jones made 23 saves over the first 65 minutes.
Erik Johnson and O'Reilly scored to wipe out a 2-0 deficit and Varlamov came up with 37 saves for the Avalanche, who have lost six of 10.
Carter sent the Kings to the first intermission with a lead, beating Varlamov from atop the crease by digging away at a loose puck with 32 seconds left.
Los Angeles assumed a 2-0 edge at 5:25 of the second period. Jarret Stoll's point shot appeared to be successfully gloved by Varlamov, but the puck emerged and Williams batted it out of the air and in.
Colorado got on the board thanks to a power-play score from Johnson, who beat Jones on the short side from the left wing off a slick dish from Duchene at 14:02.
The Avalanche wasted their first power-play chance of the third period, but not the second, as O'Reilly lifted a shot under the crossbar from the right side of the crease with 9:33 to play.
"I thought we showed a lot of character, being down 2-0, we had a big break on that power play and you see how important it is to score on a power play," noted Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy. "I thought it was a big point for us, no doubt about it."
The Kings upped their mark to 19-2-2 this season when scoring first and improved to 6-2 in shootouts ... Froese turned the trick from Jan. 8-27, 1983, and also went unbeaten in his first 13 starts (12-0-1) from Jan. 8-Feb. 20, 1983 ... Ray Emery, then of the Ottawa Senators, holds the NHL mark for consecutive winning decisions to start a career at nine, which was spread out from the 2002-03 to 2005-06 seasons ... LA also improved to 14-2-3 since Jonathan Quick was injured.
12/21 19:39:39 ET