Once in danger of falling out of the Western Conference playoff race, the Colorado Avalanche can pull into tie for the Pacific Division lead Wednesday.
The Avalanche look to draw even with Vancouver atop the division when they meet the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center.
Colorado went winless in its first eight home games and dropped 13 points behind the Canucks after a loss to Detroit on Jan. 16. But the Avs have gone 23-4-3-3 in their last 33 games to reach 100 points and give themselves a chance to win an unprecedented ninth straight division title.
“There is time,” Colorado’s Peter Forsberg said. “I mean there are three games for us to play. If we can win all of them, who knows?”
The Avs, with a game in hand on the Canucks, play at Anaheim on Friday and close out the regular season Sunday at home against St. Louis. Vancouver plays at Phoenix on Wednesday and hosts the Kings on Sunday.
Vancouver also leads the season series with Colorado 3-2.
“It’s a target. We have been playing well,” Roy said of the division crown.
While winning the Pacific and earning one of the top three seeds in the West is the priority, the Avs are also focused on holding off the Blues for fourth place in the conference. That would give the Avs home-ice advantage in at least the first round, and Colorado is unbeaten in a team-record 16 straight home games (13-0-2-1).
The Avalanche can clinch at least the fourth spot with a win Wednesday.
Colorado, which reached 100 points for the fourth time in eight years in Denver, will be looking to eclipse the 40-win mark for the eighth consecutive season Wednesday.
The Avs can complete a season sweep of the Kings, who are enduring an ugly end to a disappointing season. Los Angeles, which will miss the playoffs, broke a seven-game winless streak with a 5-4 overtime win over the Coyotes on Monday night.
Steve Kelly scored at 1:42 of the extra period, and Ziggy Palffy scored his 34th and 35th goals as Los Angeles ended a four-game losing streak (0-3-1).
“I was disappointed in the fact that we gave up a two-goal lead late in the third period,” Kings coach Andy Murray said. “We’ve been a pretty responsible team, and that’s not what you want to see happen.”
STANDINGS: Avalanche - 101 points, 2nd place, 2 PB, Northwest Division. Kings - 73 points, 4th place, 34 PB, Pacific Division.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 31): Avalanche - Power play: 18.3 percent (64 for 349), 7th in NHL. Penalty killing: 82.6 percent (284 for 344), 20th. Kings - Power play: 14.9 percent (51 for 343), 17th. Penalty killing: 83.1 percent (300 for 361), 17th.
SEASON SERIES: Avalanche, 3-0.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Avalanche - 20-9-5-5 on the road; Kings - 18-19-2-1 at home.