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Kings goalie Martin Jones shuts down Avs in shootout

11:36 PM, Dec 21, 2013   |    comments
Dec 21, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings goalie Martin Jones (31) makes a save off a shot by Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene (9) during the shootout at Staples Center. The Kings won 3-2 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES (AP) - Martin Jones made 23 saves and stopped all three shots in the shootout to become the second goalie in NHL history to win each of his first eight games, and the Los Angeles Kings got goals from Jeff Carter and Justin Williams in a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday.

Jones has allowed just eight goals on 234 shots while filling in for the injured Jonathan Quick, and has posted shutouts against Montreal, Edmonton and the New York Islanders. The only other goalie to win his first eight games was Philadelphia's Bob Froese in 1982-83.

This was the second shootout involving Jones, who in his NHL debut on Dec. 3 stopped all nine shots in the tiebreaker for a 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. In this one, he stopped Matt Duchene, PA Parenteau and Ryan O'Reilly. The only goal in the shootout was by Anze Kopitar, the Kings' second shooter.

The Kings are off to the best start after 37 games in franchise history at 25-8-4, and have won nine of their last 10 games. They are 22-1-2 when allowing fewer than three goals.

O'Reilly and Erik Johnson scored power-play goals and Duchene had two assists for the Avalanche, 4-4-2 in their last 10 games following a 17-5-5 start.

Semyon Varlamov made 37 saves, one day after prosecutors in Denver dropped a domestic violence case against him because they felt they couldn't win a conviction. He could have faced a sentence ranging from probation to two years in jail had he been found guilty.

Down 2-0, Colorado got on the board at 14:02 of the second with Johnson's fifth goal and third in four games. He got a cross-ice pass from Duchene in the left circle and one-timed it to the short side past Jones' glove while Jarret Stoll was off for tripping Jamie McGinn.

The Avalanche, just 2 for 39 on the power play over their previous 13 games, cashed in again with 9:33 left in regulation while Mike Richards was serving a delay-of-game penalty for closing his hand on the puck. O'Reilly, playing in his 300th regular-season game, converted a pass from behind the net from Duchene for his 12th goal.

Los Angeles came in having allowed just six goals in 77 short-handed situations over its previous 21 games.

The Kings, who needed almost 8 minutes to get their first shot on net, opened the scoring 32 seconds before the end of the first period. Varlamov made a glove save on Drew Doughty's one-timer from the top of the left circle, but Carter beat defenseman Cory Sarich to the rebound and tucked his 11th goal past the goalie's outstretched left leg.

Williams made it 2-0 at 5:25 of the second period, batting a fluttering puck over Varlamov's left shoulder for his team-high 12th goal after Varlamov got a glove on Stoll's screened wrist shot from just inside the blue line.

NOTES: The Kings will always have a connection with Hollywood Park racetrack, which is closing its pari-mutuel windows for good following Sunday's card. The Kings' former home, the Forum, still sits just across the street from the Inglewood oval. One of "Hollypark's" most successful jockeys - Hall of Famer and 1976 Eclipse Award-winner Sandy Hawley - served as a penalty box timekeeper at Kings games during the `70s and `80s after hanging up his tack for the afternoon. ... Four days before Christmas, the in-house camera crew showed a fan holding up a handmade sign with a photo of Jones and the words: "Glory to the newborn King." ... The Kings have been shut out only once this season - when the Avalanche beat them 1-0 at Staples Center on Nov. 23 with an overtime goal by McGinn and 33 saves by Varlamov. ... Kopitar has scored the deciding goal in four of the Kings' six shootout wins.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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