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Darcy Kuemper, Avalanche blank Kings

Sportsnaut
Mar 15, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Colorado Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper (35) defends the goal against the Los Angeles Kings during the second period at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Darcy Kuemper secured 23 saves in his second straight shutout and the visiting Colorado Avalanche beat the Los Angeles Kings 3-0 on Tuesday.

Kuemper has five shutouts this season, including four since the All-Star break. He had a career-high 46 saves in a 3-0 win against the Calgary Flames on Sunday.

On Tuesday, Valeri Nichushkin and Mikko Rantanen each had a goal and an assist, and J.T. Compher scored one of two power-play goals for the Avalanche, who lead the NHL with 91 points (43-13-5).

Jonathan Quick made 24 saves for the Kings, who have lost three of four and were shut out for the second time in three games.

Colorado hit the post twice in the first four minutes before Rantanen fed Nichushkin on a power play and he scored from in close at 6:36. Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon each earned their 42nd assists of the season on the play.

Compher tipped in a shot by Cale Makar with the man advantage to make it 2-0 with 31 seconds left in the second period.

Rantanen scored his 29th goal of the season at 5:03 of the third to make it 3-0.

Christian Wolanin appeared to score with 12:50 left and end the shutout, but the goal was waived off following an offsides review.

Josh Manson made his debut for the Avalanche after the 30-year-old defenseman was acquired in a trade with the Anaheim Ducks on Monday. He had 10 hits in 18:41.

The six defensemen who played in the season opener for the Kings were out with injury. Tobias Bjornfot is the latest loss. He is day to day with a lower-body injury sustained in a 3-2 shootout win against the Florida Panthers on Sunday.

Quick made 30 saves and stopped three of five attempts in the shootout win against the Panthers.

Quick has mostly alternated starts with Cal Petersen when both were healthy this season, but Petersen is 0-7-0 in seven career starts against the Avalanche, with an .898 save percentage and 3.78 goals-against average.

–Field Level Media