Jonathan Quick made 27 saves, and the Los Angeles Kings moved into third place in the Pacific Division with a 3-1 victory over the visiting Colorado Avalanche on Monday night at Staples Center.
Torrey Mitchell, Dustin Brown and Kyle Clifford scored for Los Angeles, which moved past the idle Anaheim Ducks into third place with its fifth straight win over Colorado. The Kings outscored the Avalanche 19-4 in that span.
The Kings, who host the Minnesota Wild on Thursday and the Dallas Stars on Saturday, need to get just one point in their final two games to guarantee themselves a Stanley Cup playoff berth.
Alexander Kerfoot scored the Avalanche’s lone goal, and Jonathan Bernier stopped 22 shots for Colorado.
The loss by the Avalanche clinched Western Conference playoff berths for both Minnesota and the San Jose Sharks. Colorado holds a one-point lead over the St. Louis Blues, who have a game in hand, for the second wild-card spot.
The Kings took a 1-0 lead at the 9:29 mark of the first period when Nate Thompson’s shot bounced off the dasher boards on the left side of the net straight to the Mitchell driving toward to the net. Mitchell fired a shot past Bernier’s glove side for his sixth tally of the season.
Brown followed with his 24th goal three minutes later. He fired a wrist shot from the top of the left circle through the legs of Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie and over the glove of Bernier for a short-handed goal.
Kerfoot cut the Kings’ lead to 2-1 with a power-play goal early in the second period. He took a cross-ice pass from Sven Andrighetto in the right circle, faked Quick to the ice and fired a shot into the upper right corner for his 19th goal of the season.
Clifford made it 3-1 two minutes into the third period when he got a rebound and then skated around the net and backhanded a shot inside the right post for his sixth goal of the season.
—Field Level Media