LOS ANGELES -- Milan Hejduk cut the L.A. lead to one early in the second period, but the Kings responded with two goals en route to a 4-1 win on Saturday afternoon at Staples Center.
Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams combined for two goals and two assists and Jeff Carter added a goal as Los Angeles, which started 3-5-2, is now 8-6-2 and stretched its winning streak to a season-high three games.
The Kings have now won five of their past six games going into Monday's showdown against Pacific Division-leading Anaheim, which is 12-2-1.
Colorado lost despite the return of captain Gabriel Landeskog from a head injury. Landeskog played well in his first game since Jan. 26 as he picked up an assist on Hejduk's goal, had two shots and delivered four hits in 19:08 of ice time.
Hejduk scored on the power play at 1:16 of the second period with a wrist shot from the slot for his third tally of the season. PA Parenteau also had an assist after he received the puck from Landeskog in the corner and did a cross-ice feed to Hejduk.
It was the only shot to elude Kings netminder Jonathan Quick, who made 25 saves.
The Kings responded quickly as Trevor Lewis added a shorthanded goal 1:35 after Hejduk's score. Lewis' goal at 2:51 of the second came on a shot that beat Colorado goalie Semyon Varlamov five-hole – the first shorthanded tally by L.A. and the first allowed by Colorado this season. Jarret Stoll started the play with a blocked shot in the slot while the Avs were attacking.
Kopitar remained on the ice during a line change and made it 4-1 at 16:42 of the second period with a wrist shot off a pass from Dustin Penner. Penner protected the puck from the back wall to around the corner and dished it between two defenders to Kopitar.
Coach Darryl Sutter reunited the top line of Brown, Kopitar and Williams on Feb. 19 and the trio seems to have remembered why it was so effective in the team's run to the Cup last season. It helped L.A. take a 2-0 lead into the first intermission on long shots that got past Varlamov, who made 22 saves in the contest.
Brown blasted a cross-ice feed from Williams past Varlamov only 58 seconds into the game. Carter wristed home a tape-to-tape backhand pass from a curling Mike Richards at 14:22 for his team-leading ninth of the season. He has goals in three consecutive games.
The game versus the Kings was the first of a three-game California trip for the Avalanche. Colorado will head down the coast for a game versus the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday at 6 p.m. before playing the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night.
Notes: Former King and Av, Ian Laperriere, was honored in a pre-game tribute. ... The Kings observed a moment of silence for former owner Jerry Buss before the game.
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