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Kings Host Avalanche In Matinee Affair At Staples Center

(Sports Network) - The Kings gave away a point last time out to hinder their quest at a Pacific Division title. A visit from the Avalanche figures to better their chances again today.

Los Angeles goes for its first season-series sweep of the Colorado franchise in 21 years this afternoon in a matchup at the Staples Center.

The Kings trail the first-place Sharks by five points in the Pacific Division and beat San Jose, 4-3, in a shootout on Thursday. Los Angeles nearly took two points outright, but gave up a game-tying goal with only 4.1 seconds left in regulation.

Jonathan Quick rebounded from that disappointment to make four saves in the tiebreaker and improve to 9-0 in shootouts this season. He ended with 24 saves through overtime, while Dustin Brown scored twice and had the winner in the deciding session to give the Kings their second straight victory and a 6-1-2 mark in their last nine.

"He played good. He played very hard, very intense and that's a big part of a captain's responsibility is to not only be a good player but to lead the way with intensity and compete and put the extra effort in to help a team get the job done," said Kings head coach Terry Murray of Brown.

Los Angeles, which played without forward Justin Williams due to a dislocated shoulder, is 2-1-1 on a five-game homestand and sits tied with Nashville for fifth overall in the Western Conference with 90 points. The Kings trail the fourth-place Coyotes by three points, but have played two fewer games and also have a game in hand over the Predators.

The Kings haven't swept a season series with the Avs franchise since winning all three meetings with the Nordiques in 1989-90.

Quick has been in net for all three contests between the clubs this year and is a perfect 6-0 with a 2.83 goals-against average versus the franchise lifetime. Brown has three goals and two assists in the series this year.

Los Angeles has won four straight and seven of its last eight against Colorado, including three in a row at home.

The Avalanche sit 14th overall in the Western Conference with 64 points and are coming off Thursday's 4-3 loss to the Maple Leafs. Matt Duchene, Daniel Winnik and Ryan O'Reilly all scored, with Duchene now having five goals and four assists over a career-high six-game point streak.

"We had a couple of costly turnovers tonight," Duchene said.

Erik Johnson had three assists and Brian Elliott finished with 23 saves for Colorado, which had won back-to-back shootouts following a 1-18-2 stretch. Peter Budaj made a brief appearance to start the third due to a skate problem for Elliott and gave up a goal.

Colorado forward Mark Olver (head) and defenseman Ryan Wilson (knee) both left the game with injury and did not return.

The Avalanche play two straight and three of their next four on the road, but have won just two of their past 14 away from Denver.

Head coach Joe Sacco may stick with Budaj today as Elliott is 0-3-0 with a 3.71 GAA in his career against the Kings. Budaj is a much better 6-1-1 with a 2.73 GAA.

For more news and information on today's game, be sure to read Jewels From The Crown.