DENVER — Mikko Rantanen scored twice for the Colorado Avalanche in a 7-1 win against the Los Angeles Kings at Pepsi Center on Saturday before leaving the game because of a lower-body injury.
Rantanen, who is second in the NHL in scoring with 73 points (23 goals, 50 assists), had two of Colorado’s six goals on 10 shots in the second period.
“He had a lower-body tweak, so I just kept him out of the third period for precautionary reasons, wanted to make sure he’s healthy for our next game,” said Avalanche coach Jared Bednar, who expects Rantanen to play Monday against the Nashville Predators.
[WATCH: All Kings vs. Avalanche highlights]
Tyson Barrie had three assists, Gabriel Landeskog and Carl Soderberg each had a goal and an assist, and Semyon Varlamov made 30 saves for the Avalanche (22-18-8), who lost four of their previous five games and were 2-8-2 in their past 12.
“It was real easy for us to come in focused,” Barrie said. “We know how bad we’ve been lately, and that’s unacceptable for this group. We’re a team that has a lot of pride. We had a lot to prove, and I think we did that. Now it will be a test for us to show that we can do it on a nightly basis.”
Ilya Kovalchuk scored and Jonathan Quick made 17 saves for the Kings (19-26-4), who went 1-1-1 on a three-game road trip. Jack Campbell made 16 saves in relief after replacing Quick at 8:34 of the second period.
“It started goal after goal after goal,” Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said of the second period. “I thought we’re all trying to do the right things, we’re all working hard and we’re competing, but we’re not executing. There are so many things you can do to execute. Guys can talk more, I think that’s the main thing.
“We need to help each other out more. It was just a pathetic second period. I really don’t even know what to say.”
Soderberg gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead at 9:57 of the first period for his 16th goal, matching his NHL career high.
“I thought we could have probably had a few more (goals) in the first period, but Quick was really good,” Bednar said. “We did a nice job. I liked our game, overall a good commitment to our 200-foot game.”
Landeskog made it 2-0 on a power play 32 seconds into the second period from the left circle off a pass from Nathan MacKinnon.
Alexander Kerfoot scored at 2:27 of the second to extend the lead to 3-0 before a power-play goal from Rantanen made it 4-0 at 7:18. Sheldon Dries converted the rebound of Matt Calvert‘s shot at 8:34 for a shorthanded goal and a 5-0 lead.
Rantanen scored Colorado’s sixth goal of the period at 14:35 for a 6-0 lead, and Colin Wilson made it 7-0 at 15:49 of the third.
“Right off the bat we came out strong and wanted to play to our strength, which is our speed,” Landeskog said.
Kovalchuk scored on a 5-on-3 power play at 7:52 of the third for the 7-1 final.
“If there was anything, Colorado was due,” Kings coach Willie Desjardins said. “They hadn’t been on top of their game and they were going to come hard. They got a shorty, power play, so kind of everything that could go wrong with our team went wrong tonight.”
They said it
“It comes down to the will to compete and execute and want to win. It’s just embarrassing. We had a chance to have a great trip, get five of six points. We were really hungry before this game. We felt good. To go out there and play [poorly stinks].” — Kings defenseman Drew Doughty
“It’s one game and it was a good game. It’s up to us now to make sure that it does propel us in the right way. We know how we have to play to win hockey games. I think we showed it today. If we play that way, we’ll be hard to beat.” — Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog
Need to know
Bednar didn’t have an update on Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson, who was hit in the face with a puck in the first period and did not return. … Colorado’s six goals in the second period matched a franchise record that has been done nine times, three since it moved from Quebec in 1995. … The Avalanche went 2-for-6 on the power play after going 2-for-18 over the previous five games. … Barrie has five points (one goal, four assists) in a three-game point streak. … The Kings have scored two goals or fewer in nine of their past 12 games.
Kings: Host the St. Louis Blues on Monday (4 p.m. ET, NBCSN)
Avalanche: Host the Nashville Predators on Monday (3 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SN, ALT, FS-TN, NHL.TV)