Marian Gaborik
Kings-Avalanche Preview
Marian Gaborik

Kings-Avalanche Preview

Published Jan. 3, 2016 4:33 p.m. ET

Los Angeles' winning streak has featured a stingy defensive-zone presence, and Colorado's latest struggles have about canceled out its similar form from just over two weeks ago.

Recent history in the series points toward those trends continuing Monday night as the Kings visit the Avalanche seeking their third winning streak of at least six games this season.

The Kings (25-11-2) scored 18 goals in the first four games of the latest streak before Saturday's 2-1 home win over Philadelphia. They've limited opponents to seven goals on the five-game run.

"When you come to the rink on a winning streak, everything's just so much more fun," Drew Doughty said. ''We want to continue feeling that way. We don't like coming to the rink unhappy.


"We're playing with a lot of confidence right now, and it's just gone through the whole team. Every single guy is playing that way, and that makes our team a lot better."

Doughty gave Los Angeles a 2-0 lead late in the first period on the power play, which has been a key part of the streak, going 6 of 15 with at least one goal in each win.

Dwight King opened the scoring and has two goals in three games back from a broken foot that sidelined him for the team's first 35 games.

"I don't think anybody planned this kind of outcome, but I'll take them and hopefully just keep going," King said.

The Avalanche (18-18-3) haven't slowed many players down lately, allowing 20 goals over a 1-2-2 span following a five-game winning streak during which they gave up five goals. They also came up short offensively in Saturday's 4-0 home loss to Calgary.

They're on a 0-2-2 skid at home to fall to 6-9-3 for the season. With the Kings followed in by St. Louis and Nashville to conclude a five-game homestand, that skid could grow. Los Angeles is seeking its first five-game road winning streak since winning eight straight from Feb. 26-March 27, 2014. Colorado's last five-game home skid was part of an eight gamer from Jan. 26-March 11, 2011.

"We had a great crowd supporting us (that) paid good money to see us play, and we didn't have a good game at all," Erik Johnson told the team's official website. "It's something we have to put behind us, learn from and next game be ready to go."

It was Jarome Iginla's third try at becoming the 19th player in NHL history to score 600 goals. He said he hopes the looming milestone isn't a distraction to his teammates as they work through a difficult time.

"We talk about it," said Iginla, who has one goal in his last 20 games against the Kings. "It's not to look for me. I want us to play normal, if anything use me as a decoy. There's a lot of time to get that."

Jonathan Quick could make it even more difficult. He's seeking his third six-game winning streak of the season and has a 1.40 goals-against average and .954 save percentage in the last five. Quick has won his last six games versus Colorado with a .947 save percentage.

Likely counterpart Semyon Varlamov is headed the other direction, posting a 4.37 GAA and .856 save percentage over an 0-2-2 span.

The Kings won 2-1 at home over the Avalanche on Oct. 18 to get to 8-0-1 with 15 goals allowed in the series since last losing to Colorado on Jan. 22, 2013. Marian Gaborik has scored in his last three games against the Avalanche.


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