The Los Angeles Kings opened training camp yesterday, the start of a grueling ten-month season in which they look to defend their second Stanley Cup title in two seasons. With the vast majority of their roster returning the Kings will be looking to accomplish something that hasn’t been done in the NHL in over fifteen years—win back to back Stanley Cups. The last club to accomplish the feat was the Detroit Red Wings in 1997-1998.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012 9:00 PM
AVALANCHE 4, KINGS 1: Paul Stastny scored twice and Semyon Varlamov turned aside 32 shots as Colorado completed its first season sweep of Los Angeles in 19 years.
Mark Olver scored for his third point in as many games since being recalled from Lake Erie of the American Hockey League. Jay McClement also tallied for the Avalanche, who moved to within two points of the eighth-place Kings in the Western Conference.
All-Star Jonathan Quick was pulled after yielding three goals on 11 shots for Los Angeles, which has dropped four in a row and is 2-6-2 in its last 10 games.
After Olver opened the scoring at 7:04 of the first period, Stastny doubled the advantage exactly six minutes later after taking advantage of Kyle Clifford’s turnover before beating Quick to the post on a wraparound.
McClement’s deflection beat Quick to cap the first-period onslaught and Stastny cleaned up a rebound for his 16th goal of the season midway through the second.
Captain Dustin Brown ended Varlamov’s bid for his third shutout of the season and seventh career by deflecting Drew Doughty’s shot 4:35 into the third period. The tally was his 15th of the season and second in as many nights.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Stastny has collected two multi-goal games this campaign and 15 in his career. … Los Angeles swept Colorado in the series last season. Avalanche rookie Gabriel Landeskog assisted on Stastny’s second goal, giving him seven points (four goals, three assists) in his last seven games. … Defenseman Erik Johnson exited the contest with back spasms.