LOS ANGELES (AP) The Los Angeles Kings spent much of the season waiting for their role players to step up.The contributions they had been seeking finally came Womens Kyle Palmieri Jersey
, putting the Kings on the verge of making the playoffs.Dustin Brown had a short-handed goal, and Torrey Mitchell and Kyle Clifford also scored to help Los Angeles move back into third place in the Pacific Division with a 3-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Monday night.Jonathan Quick made 27 saves for the Kings, who are one point ahead of Anaheim and can secure a postseason berth by earning one point from their final two games.”It’s a big step,” Brown said. ”Things have to go really wrong for us and really good for other teams, but you’re never in until you’re in.”Alexander Kerfoot had a power-play goal and Jonathan Bernier stopped 22 shots for the Avalanche.Colorado leads St. Louis by one point for the second Western Conference wild card, but the Blues have a game in hand. The Avalanche host the Blues on Saturday in the final game of the regular season for both.”We have a young team, but there are still no excuses,” Colorado defenseman Nikita Zadorov said. ”We know we should be in the playoffs. We are a good team and we’ve worked hard all season. We’ve got to get creative.”The Kings played more than 56 minutes with just five defensemen after Derek Forbort was injured when he was checked into the boards by Gabriel Bourque. Alec Martinez played a career-high 32:11, one of four Kings defensemen to play at least 20 minutes.”You ask big minutes out of those guys, to dig in and play with different partners http://www.officialbluejackets.com/authentic-adidas-david-savard-je...
, possibly play the wrong side and different matchups than you’re accustomed to,” Kings coach John Stevens said. ”I thought that effort on the back end in terms of how far they dug in and how hard they competed was excellent.”Stevens could not update the condition of Forbort, who left the dressing room on crutches and unable to put any weight on his right leg.While their defensive depth was pushed to the limits, the Kings got some much-needed offense from their bottom two lines.Los Angeles took a 1-0 lead at 9:29 of the first period thanks to an opportunistic goal by Mitchell. Bernier was caught by surprise when Nate Thompson’s shot hit the boards and bounced into the crease, jumping into the air to avoid sending it back into his own net. Mitchell charged in to score his sixth of the season.Brown made it 2-0 at 12:32, scoring his 24th on a wrist shot from the edge of the left circle.Clifford scored on a wraparound two minutes into the third period to restore a two-goal lead for the Kings after Kerfoot cut the deficit to 2-1 at 4:33 of the second, going top shelf over Quick’s glove for his second goal in two games.Clifford ended a run of 12 games without a goal. Mitchell hadn’t scored since Feb. 20.”You see what guys are willing to do this time of year and emotionally invest in a game,” Stevens said. ”I thought everybody was willing to dig in when the game mattered. We all know the enormity of this game for both teams, and we knew it was going to take a second and third effort on a lot of plays to get it done.”NOTES: The Kings swept the season series against the Avalanche, limiting them to one goal in each of the three games. … Avalanche forward Colin Wilson had an assist after missing the previous five games with a lower-body injury.UP NEXTAvalanche: Visit the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night.Kings: Host the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night.— BUFFALO Anthony Mantha Jersey
, N.Y. (AP) Don’t tell Jason Pominville and the Buffalo Sabres they have nothing to play for.For a team all but mathematically out of playoff contention, the Sabres continued making a dent in in the Eastern Conference playoff race with a 5-3 win against their cross-border and Atlantic Division rival Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday.”It’s an easy game to get prepared for,” said Pominville, one of four Sabres to score a goal and assist. ”You know it’s going to be a great atmosphere in our building with the fans they get.”The Sabres silenced the large contingent of ”Go, Leafs, Go!”-chanting fans by building a 2-0 lead within the first four minutes. And after the Maple Leafs tied the game, Buffalo responded by scoring three times and sealed the victory on Johan Larsson’s goal midway through the third period.Ryan O’Reilly, Sam Reinhart and Zemgus Girgensons also scored for Buffalo, while Chad Johnson stopped 38 shots in extending the Maple Leafs’ skid to 0-2-2.Though the Sabres remain at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, they improved to 7-5-2 in their last 14 games. It’s a three-week stretch during which Buffalo has defeated each of the division’s three top teams Darren Helm Jersey
, including Boston twice.Pominville also showed he hasn’t lost his touch against Toronto.Re-acquired by the Sabres in a trade last summer after a four-plus-season stint in Minnesota, Pominville now has 19 goals and 50 points in 51 career games with Buffalo against Toronto.”Wow,” the former Sabres captain said. ”I should play them more often.”Leo Komarov had two goals and Mitch Marner also scored for Toronto.Frederik Andersen stopped 19 shots in allowing five goals for the second consecutive outing after being yanked midway through a 5-2 loss to Washington in an outdoor game played at the U.S. Naval Academy on Saturday.The only consolation for Andersen this time was he couldn’t be faulted on Buffalo’s first four goals, all of which were set up by fortunate bounces.The Sabres led 2-0 after Reinhart and Pominville deflected in shots from the right point by Rasmus Ristolainen. Girgensons put Buffalo up 3-2 when Reinhart’s shot from a bad angle banked in off his skate.The Sabres received yet another break in going up 4-2 when Toronto defenseman Ron Hainsey’s clearing attempt struck referee Kendrick Nicholson’s skate. The puck caromed directly to O’Reilly, who scored from the right circle.”That was pretty crazy. I think it seemed like everything just hit something and found a way into the net,” Andersen said. ”In the big picture, they earned their bounces.”Leafs coach Mike Babcock couldn’t fault Andersen, though he took issue with the NHL for allowing Larsson’s goal to stand up following a video review for goaltender interference.After stopping Pominville’s one-timer from the left circle, Andersen was knocked off balance from behind by Larsson, who was skating through the crease. Larsson then corralled the rebound and swept it under Andersen.Babcock challenged the call by saying Larsson first collided with Andersen while the two were in the crease.”What they told me is he was interfered with outside the paint http://www.officialredwings.com/authentic-adidas-dylan-larkin-jersey
, which is not true and that, tonight, was goalie interference no matter what way you look at it,” Babcock said.Toronto has matched its longest skid of the season, which comes after the Leafs enjoyed a 13-2 run.”The bottom line is you’ve got to get it turned around. We can’t continue to lose hockey games,” Babcock said.NOTES: The Sabres continued their home dominance over Toronto, improving to 19-3-1 in their past 23 meetings at Buffalo. … One of the more amusing moments came when television cameras captured an exchange between Ristolainen and Toronto’s Nazem Kadri, after the two were sent to the penalty box for fighting in the second period. Ristolainen held up four fingers in telling Kadri the teams play four more times. Kadri responded by correcting Ristolainen, saying it’s only three more times because Monday’s game didn’t count. … Maple Leafs LW Matt Martin had an assist while playing for the first time since a 4-2 loss to Colorado on Jan. 22. Martin had been a healthy scratch for 18 consecutive games.UP NEXTMaple Leafs: Get four-day break before hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.Sabres: Host the Calgary Flames on Wednesday.—