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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

McKinnon’s hat-trick gives AVS a 9-3 win over Kings in 53rd

DENVER ( Associated Press) — Nathan McKinnon scored three goals and two assists, Nicolas Aube-Kubel scored twice in a dominant first period and the Colorado Avalanche scored their 53rd win as the Los Angeles Kings beat the Los Angeles Kings 9-3 on Wednesday night. Created a franchise record with

Valery Nychushkin added two goals, Black Makar scored one goal and three assists, Andre Burakovsky also scored and Darcy Kuyper made 29 saves for the Avalanche, who took a 4–0 lead 11 minutes before the game. Took.

Colorado scored its seventh consecutive win and improved to 53–14–6, besting the 2013–14 and 2000–01 teams for the most victories. The Avalanche also moved two points ahead of Florida for the best record in the NHL and a franchise-best 29-4-3 at home.

“The crowd was shouting slogans even before the anthem started,” said AVS coach Jared Bednar. “You could feel that when you go on the bench as a coach, as a player, they are involved and they were going to be energetic. And we wanted to make sure we came out and played a really good game after playing a few off games in Winnipeg and Edmonton.

“I think our players feel that way and that’s why our record at home is so good.”

Adrian Kempe, Alex Iafalo and Philippe Danault scored for the Kings, who have dropped four of the five. Starting consecutive nights for the first time in four years, Jonathan Quick allowed three goals on 10 shots before being pulled. Cal Peterson allowed six more goals on 25 shots.

LA remained in the third-place playoff spot in the Pacific Division, but only three points ahead of Vegas, which has two games in hand.

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“Definitely not the performance you want tonight, especially at this time of year,” said Kings captain Anje Kopitar. “But we have to look at this one and get stuff right and make sure it’s not going to repeat, because it’s a crisis time for our team.”

The schedule did not favor the Kings. They won 5-2 in Chicago on Tuesday night and arrived in Denver early Wednesday to play at the heights while the Avalanche had been closed since Saturday.

And Colorado opened with relentless pressure and crossed that overwhelmed weary LA. Aube-Kubel scored 2:54 inches and Nichushkin tallied 39 seconds later. McKinnon scored on the power play and then Aube-Kubel scored 41 seconds to make it 4–0 with 9:04 in the first period.

Kings coach Todd McClellan said in a 55-second postgame media session, “We can put earrings on the pig if we want, but it’s not going to get better.” “It was terrible and we move on. We get to play more games, which is great for us and we have to get better.

Kempe scored his 33rd goal at the start of the second and Iafalo made it 4-2 with a slap shot just inside the blue line at 10:40 of the second. But AVS stabilized things when McKinnon fed Burakovsky into the high slot at 13:05.

McKinnon scored on the breakaway on a stretch pass from Makar at the start of the third period to drop the third hat-trick of his career to finish 9-2 in 10:08.

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Fans chanted “We need 10!” in the final minutes, but Colorado had to settle for a season-high nine goals.

“I didn’t want to score,” Aube-Kubel said with a smile. “There was no hat left.”

Added McKinnon: “Nine is enough, I guess.”

Notes: AVS rookie Bowen Byram assisted with the first two goals in his fourth game with an injury problem after being on personal leave for nearly three months. … Capricorn’s goal was the 60th goal for the Colorado Defense Forces, the most in the NHL since Washington (62) in 1993–94. … AVS coach Jared Bedner expects captain Gabriel Landeskog (surgery to have a knee) to return for a game or two before the playoffs. … Quick games started back-to-back for the first time since January 18-19, 2018. He last played in the same season for the last time on 9–10 February. … Nichushkin became Colorado’s seventh player with 20 goals. … AVS signed un-drafted college free agents Ben Meyers (Minnesota) and Wyatt Aamodt (Minnesota State).

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KINGS: Hosts Columbus played the first five straight games on Saturday night against teams knocked out of the playoff race.

Avalanche: Thursday night versus New Jersey at home, whose 24 regulation road losses are the most in the NHL. The AVS are 7-1-1 in the second game back-to-back.

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