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Third-period explosion lifts Avalanche over Kings

The SportsXchange

DENVER -- The Los Angeles Kings were dominant on the road in last year's playoffs.

Two games into a new season, the defending Stanley Cup champions can't win anywhere.

Gabriel Landeskog and David Jones scored 1:35 apart to start the third period, Semyon Varlamov made 28 saves and the Colorado Avalanche beat Los Angeles 3-1 Tuesday night at Pepsi Center.

P.A. Parenteau also scored a third-period goal for the Avalanche (1-1) in their home opener.

"Stanley Cup champions coming in, it wasn't hard to get up for this one," said Landeskog, the team's new captain. "Getting that first one for me and the first one for P.A. and Jones, it's going to take a little monkey off our back."

Jonathan Quick also made 28 saves and Kyle Clifford scored in the first period for Los Angeles, which has lost two straight to start the season.

The Kings had an historic run to the title last year, winning their first 10 road postseason games and finishing 10-1 away from Staples Center. They haven't gotten traction this year, losing their home opener Saturday before dropping to 0-2 Tuesday night.

"I don't worry," coach Darryl Sutter said. "It doesn't solve much, does it?"

The Kings lost despite the return of center Anze Kopitar, who missed the opener because of an injury. He didn't get a shot in 24 shifts Tuesday.

Like the rest of the team, Kopitar struggled on the power play, where the Kings were 0-for-6.

"It was outstanding, the penalty kill tonight," Colorado coach Joe Sacco said. "We don't like taking six penalties, but the guys really dug in."

Colorado killed off five through the first two periods, which kept the game close for a rally in the third. The Avalanche trailed 1-0 for most of the game before Landeskog took a rebound off the backboards and beat Quick one minute into the third period.

Dustin Penner was called for holding 27 seconds later, and Colorado took advantage. Defenseman Davis Drewiske failed to clear the puck along the boards, and Jones scored to make it 2-1 just 2:35 into the third.

"I think Wiske rimmed it, it hit a shin pad right onto his stick," Quick said. "Tough bounce. (Jones) makes a nice shot."

Parenteau got his first goal with Colorado when he tipped in a pass from defenseman Erik Johnson at 8:16 of the third to make it 3-1.

The Kings pulled Quick for an extra attacker with 1:44 left but couldn't score.

"We had some good chances in the first two periods, but we didn't get rewarded," Parenteau said. "The sign of a good team is you stick with it, and that's what we did."

Clifford gave the Kings a 1-0 lead when he knocked in Jordan Nolan's rebound late in the first period.

Colorado dressed only 11 forwards and then lost another when Steve Downie sustained a knee injury in the second period.

Despite their limited forward corps, the Avalanche had a great chance to even the score with a 5-on-3 for 1:29 in the second period, but they managed just one shot in that span.

Things looked even worse for the home team in the third when center Matt Duchene was hit in the shin on a shot by Drew Doughty. Duchene went to the locker room to get stitches, but he came back on the ice.

After the game, the Avalanche players skated to center ice and raised their sticks to the crowd.

"To be away for so long and come back into the Pepsi Center and see so many fans and how loud they were, it seems like we missed them as much as they missed us," Landeskog said.

NOTES: Colorado has won five straight against Los Angeles, outscoring the Kings 15-6 during the streak. ... Dating back to before the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, the Kings are 14-3-2 on the road. They have had a winning mark away from home the past three seasons. ... To make room for Kopitar on the active roster, the Kings assigned forward Anthony Stewart to the Manchester Monarchs of the AHL. ... Colorado right wing Chuck Kobasew was a scratch for the second consecutive game. He missed Saturday's opener in Minnesota with flu-like symptoms. ... Avalanche defenseman Shane O'Brien was a healthy scratch. ... Landeskog was presented with the Calder Trophy as the rookie of the year in 2011-12. He is the only Colorado player to win the award besides Chris Drury in 1998-99. ... Colorado center Ryan O'Reilly, the team's leading scorer last year, remains unsigned.
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