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Los Angeles Kings fight off late Colorado Avalanche surge, win 4-3

Feb 26, 2011, 7:30 PM EDT

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Cody McLeod, Jonathan Quick, Alec Martinez AP

In the middle of the third period of this afternoon’s game between the Colorado Avalanche and the Los Angeles Kings, it seemed like the burning question was whether or not Jonathan Quick would end up with a breezy shutout. After all, the Kings held a 4-0 lead.

Yet David Jones scored two goals in less than a minute apart to make it a game again in the second half of the final frame, while Paul Stastny brought the Kings’ lead to within one goal with 30 seconds left. It wasn’t pretty, but Drew Doughty & Co. managed to hold onto what was once a flabby lead to give the Kings their third win in a row.

Los Angeles 4, Colorado 3

Los Angeles is now 11-1-3 in their last 15 games, which is made even more impressive because they just wrapped up a mammoth 10-game road trip.

Both Doughty and Anze Kopitar had a goal and assist for the Kings while Jones scored those aforementioned two goals for the Avalanche. Newly acquired Colorado goalie Brian Elliott kept the Avs in the game by stopping 38 out of 42 shots. Quick had a much lighter night of work, allowing three goals on only 17 shots for his 28th win of 2010-11.

It would have been a shame to waste a 42-17 shot disparity with a loss, so the Kings managed to sidestep that disappointment. Thankfully, style points aren’t a tiebreaker for the NHL playoffs.

Speaking of which, the Kings now find themselves reasonably comfortable in that regard (relatively speaking of course), as their 74 points and 35 wins place them alone in fifth place in the West as of this writing. Meanwhile, Colorado can probably acknowledge the need to go in “tank mode” as they’re second to last in the conference with only 59 points.

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