DENVER (AP) — Trevor Lewis scored the go-ahead goal with a slick move in the second period, Peter Budaj stopped 24 shots and Los Angeles beat the Colorado Avalanche 2-1 on Tuesday night as Darryl Sutter moved into a tie for most wins as coach of the Kings.
Tyler Toffoli also scored for Los Angeles, which halted a three-game skid. Sutter captured his 215th win as the Kings’ coach to draw even with Andy Murray.
Budaj was solid against his former team, especially in the third period when he made 11 saves. Budaj picked up victory No. 27 this season, his most since winning 31 with Colorado in 2006-07.
Drew Doughty committed a costly turnover that led to Mikko Rantanen’s second-period goal, only to atone with a pinpoint backhanded pass that set up Toffoli’s score.
The Avalanche pulled goaltender Calvin Pickard with around 1:55 remaining but couldn’t capitalize, dropping to 1-6-1 over their last eight games. Tyson Barrie hit the post with around seven minutes remaining in the third period.
The 20-year-old Rantanen gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead 32 seconds into the second period when he stole the puck from Doughty at the blue line and beat Budaj with a shot into the upper corner. Rantanen has goals in three straight games.
Los Angeles responded by scoring twice in a span of 6:14. Toffoli scored on a nifty pass from Doughty just before being shoved into the net and knocking the goal all the way into the boards.
After an Avalanche turnover, Lewis glided down the left side, cut toward the middle with Barrie chasing him and pushed the puck past Pickard to make it 2-1.
Los Angeles was called for two penalties in the first period, leading to a pair of quality scoring chances for Colorado. On one, Gabriel Landeskog kept poking at the puck down low as Budaj turned him away repeatedly until the net finally dislodged. On another, Rantanen had an open net, but Budaj slid over to deflect the shot away.
NOTES: Los Angeles goaltender Jonathan Quick (lower-body injury) faced some shots during the morning skate. He’s been sidelined since being injured in the season opener. … Colorado will be without hard-hitting defenseman Nikita Zadorov for the rest of the season after he broke his ankle Monday at practice. … D Erik Johnson is nearing a return after being sidelined since early December with a broken leg.
Kings: Host Boston on Thursday.
Avalanche: At Nashville on Thursday.
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