Los Angeles Kings' Kyle Clifford (13) celebrates a goal with teammate Jordan Nolan (71), who got the assist, while Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov, bottom, of Russia, watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013 in Denver. (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 11:53 pm
Avs rally in 3rd period for 3-1 win over Kings
By PAT GRAHAMAP Sports Writer
P.A. Parenteau also added his first goal in an Avalanche sweater midway through the third period to help the team bounce back from a season opening loss in Minnesota.
Kyle Clifford's goal in the opening period gave the Kings their first lead of the season and, given the way Jonathan Quick was playing in net, looked like it just might hold up.
But Landeskog beat Quick with a shot off a rebound early in the third. Soon after, Jones followed by sending a wrist shot over Quick's outstretched glove on a power play.
Semyon Varlamov made the lead hold up as he finished with 28 saves in front of a revved-up crowd.
The defending Stanley Cup champion Kings are winless two games into the season. They lost 5-2 to Chicago last weekend, dampening their banner-raising ceremony.
Los Angeles even had Anze Kopitar back in the lineup after he missed the season opener with a knee injury. Kopitar injured his knee shortly before the lockout ended in a collision while playing in Sweden. He has led Los Angeles in scoring in each of the last five seasons.
But Kopitar's presence couldn't help get the Kings' offense on track.
After Jones' goal, tempers briefly flared when Cody McLeod fell down on a rush toward the goal and slammed into Quick, sending both into the net. Several Kings players rushed in to pull McLeod away.
Clifford gave the Kings the early lead off a rebound late in the first period. He set up the play, too, by dishing an outlet pass to Jordan Nolan, who lined a shot off Varlamov's pads and straight to the stick of the hustling Clifford.
It could've been more, but the Avs killed off two penalties.
Colorado had a chance early in the game when Matt Duchene skated between two L.A. defensemen, but sent his backhanded shot off the chest of Quick.
In an attempt to win back fans, the Avalanche released an apology letter before the game, saying the organization understands the frustration.
"We do not take lightly the responsibility of ensuring that your experience exceeds the level of passion and enthusiasm that you provide our sport, team and players on a daily basis," the letter read.
It was signed by team governor Josh Kroenke, general manager Greg Sherman, coach Joe Sacco and Landeskog, the newly appointed captain.
The team also played a "welcome back" video for the fans and gave out gifts such as season tickets.
After the game, the Colorado players skated around the rink to thank the crowd for their support.
It was quite a night for Landeskog, who was presented the Calder Trophy at center ice before the game after being named the league's top rookie last season. Landeskog had 22 goals and 30 assists a season ago.
Notes: Los Angeles placed defenseman Matt Greene (back) on injured reserve Monday. ... The Kings assigned newly acquired F Anthony Stewart to their AHL affiliate in Manchester. He cleared waivers earlier this week after being picked up from Carolina for enforcer Kevin Westgarth. ... Avs D Erik Johnson played in his 300th NHL game. ... Avs F Steve Downie left the game in the second period with a knee injury.