Five-goal second period helps Kings stave off Avalanche

By Dave Reed
PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

DENVER (Ticker) — The Los Angeles Kings’ five-goal second
period nearly fell by the wayside.

Alexander Frolov recorded a pair of goals in the session and the
Kings held on for a 6-5 triumph over the Colorado Avalanche on

Jarret Stoll and All-Star Dustin Brown notched a goal and an
assist apiece and Kyle Calder and defenseman Jack Johnson also
tallied for Los Angeles, which posted its second straight win
after going 0-3-1 in its previous four contests.

“It was a huge two wins for us right before the All-Star break,
and hopefully it will give us some confidence when we get back,”
Frolov said.

Michal Handzus, Anze Kopitar, Patrick O’Sullivan and defenseman
Kyle Quincey each notched two assists for the Kings, who snapped
a four-game skid against the Avalanche.

Chris Stewart and T.J. Hensick recorded a goal and an assist
apiece and Marek Svatos, Brian Willsie and Cody McLeod also
scored for Colorado, which trailed, 6-2, late in the second
period in this one.

“It just shows what this team can do when they show up and play
a 20-minute period,” Stewart said. “In this league, you have to
play a full 60 minutes to win games.”

Darcy Tucker and defenseman Ruslan Salei both set up a pair of
tallies for the Avalanche, who fell to 1-4-0 in their last five

“It was a crazy game,” said Colorado’s Wojtek Wolski, who set up
Svatos’ first-period tally that tied the game at 1-1. “The puck
just seemed to bounce for them early and they got a couple goals
really quickly, and that kind of put us down. But we seemed to
find a way to get back into it.”

With the game tied at 1-1, the Kings scored three times in a
span of 3:36 early in the second period to seize control.

Frolov unleashed a shot from above the left faceoff circle that
beat goaltender Peter Budaj 85 seconds into the session, and
Johnson netted his first goal of the season from nearly the same
spot just 29 seconds later.

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“We saw that we are capable of scoring the last two nights,”
Frolov said, referring to the Kings’ 5-2 victory over the
Minnesota Wild on Tuesday. “We have to learn how to play when
we have the lead in the third period. We’re getting better.”

Stoll gave the Kings a three-goal lead 5:01 into the period,
when he knocked in Brown’s centering pass for his 10th tally of
the campaign, chasing Budaj in the process. The Slovakian
netminder allowed four goals on 15 shots before being relieved
by Andrew Raycroft, who also made 11 saves.

After Hensick tallied 8 1/2 minutes later to cut the deficit to
4-2, Frolov and Brown struck 21 seconds apart to give Los
Angeles a four-goal cushion with 5:28 remaining in the session.

“You never know what’s going to happen, especially in today’s
NHL,” Brown said. “We’ve come back from three goals, and they
were close tonight.

“Those goals ended up being the difference. It was a huge two
points for us.”

Stewart scored with eight seconds to go in the period for his
fourth point in the last three games, drawing Colorado within

With added confidence, the Avalanche struck again as Willsie
knocked down goalie Jonathan Quick’s clearing attempt before
wristing it into the net for his first of the season at 5:53 of
the third.

“It would have been a pretty nice assist if the guy was on my
team,” Quick said. “Unfortunately, he wasn’t. He made a nice
play, a nice shot.”

Just 1:43 later, McLeod buried a rebound to make it a one-goal
game, but Quick and the Kings thwarted the Avalanche over the
final 13:24 of the contest.

“It’s a great game for a rookie goaltender, to be able to deal
with what’s going on with emotion of the game, the fans and the
opposing team really jamming the net,” Kings coach Terry Murray
said. “He’ll grow from this one.”