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Avalanche have a big night in Los Angeles scoring 7 goals in rout of Kings – The Denver Post

LOS ANGELES — The Colorado Avalanche have been deadly on the road, maybe no more so than in Wednesday’s night’s rout over the lowly Los Angeles Kings.

A superb defensive effort and a nearly perfect night from the Avs’ special teams added up to a 7-3 triumph that extended their winning streak away from Pepsi Center to four games and completed a two-game sweep of Southern California’s teams.

Nathan MacKinnon scored his 14th goal and notched his 17th assist and NHL scoring leader Mikko Rantanen posted his 25th and 26th assists, pushing his point total to 34, three ahead of his teammate and Edmonton’s Connor McDavid, in a dominant display at Staples Center.

Patrik Nemeth scored his first goal of the season, Colin Wilson returned from an injury absence in Sunday’s win at Anaheim to score a fine goal, and Alexander Kerfoot assisted three tallies as the Avs (11-6-4, 26 points) opened a three-goal advantage in the second period and added to the romp at the start of the third.

Vladislav Kamenev added a goal and his assist, the first multipoint game of his career, and SoCal native Matt Nieto returned from a two-game injury absence with an assist as Colorado scored a half-dozen goals for the fifth time this season, then set a season-high with its seventh.

Tyson Barrie had a goal and assist in the third period, Matt Calvert came off a tough personal week with a goal, and Carl Soderberg and Tyson Josh picked up two assists apiece.

“I liked [our] start to the game,” head coach Jared Bodnar said. “I thought we got to play to our identity right away, and special teams ended up being a huge factor for us tonight. Our [power play] was really good again, our [penalty kill] really sharpened up on some ODF the details that we kind of slipped lately. Work ethic on it was real good. I felt that was the difference in the game.”

The Avs, who wrap up their three-game Pacific Division swing Friday at Arizona before heading into a critical six-week stretch in which they will be home for 12 of 20 games, took charge by scoring on its first three power plays, two in the first period, and killing three second-period penalties.

“When the power play is clicking like that, it feels good, and, obviously, it can win you games, which it did tonight,” captain Gabe Landeskog said. “Special teams, we know how important they can be, and we’re going to need that moving forward.”

Goaltender Semyon Varlamov said it was “probably the best game of the year [for our] power play and special teams. It was fun to watch.”

Varlamov, back in the nets after giving way to Philipp Grubauer the past two games, posted his 200th NHL victory, overcoming an error that enabled the Kings (7-13-1, 15 points), the league’s worst side, to stick around until the end of the second period.

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