Kopitar scores 4 times, kings cruise to 7-1 win over avs (mar 23, 2018) fox sports american university internships

Kopitar became the first kings player with a four-goal game since 1993, jonathan quick stopped 29 shots and LA picked up another valuable road win by cruising past the colorado avalanche 7-1 on thursday night.

Kopitar was so efficient that he picked up his fourth career hat trick with 7:33 remaining in the second period. He added another goal early in the third. This was the first four-goal game by a kings player since luc robitaille accomplished the feat on nov. 25, 1993, at quebec.

”he’s elite. He’s one of the best players in the league,” said kopitar’s teammate nate thompson, who had two assists.Second period ”I have a first-row seat and it’s fun to watch.”

Tobias rieder had two goals and jake muzzin scored his first since feb. 3 for the kings, who surpassed anaheim for the third spot in the pacific division.

Los angeles improved to 6-0-2 over its last eight road games.

Quick allowed an early goal to mikko rantanen and was stellar after that in a game that had a playoff feel. Well, at least early, before the kings reeled off seven unanswered goals.

”they came out pretty hard the first five minutes. … we settled in and played our game, our road game, our team game,” thompson said. ”I thought we played a pretty complete game.”

four-goal game

The kings beat an avalanche team that’s 15-3-1 in its last 19 games on home ice. Colorado remains in a wild-card spot with eight games remaining.

”you’ve got to be careful watching the scoreboard because it’s wasted emotion,” avalanche coach jared bednar said. ”we’re concentrating on what we have to do to get in.”

Semyon varlamov showed signs of fatigue in giving up five goals before being replaced by backup jonathan bernier in the second period. Varlamov has appeared in 19 straight games (17 starts) with bernier sidelined by a concussion. Bernier returned thursday and allowed two goals.Second period

Trailing 3-1, nathan mackinnon clanged one off the crossbar seconds into the second period. Moments later, rieder found himself on a breakaway and beat varlamov with a wrist shot.

He recorded his first hat trick since feb. 12, 2016, with a backhander in the second period. Some of the fans at the pepsi center littered the ice with hats. He wasn’t done there, though, scoring his fourth on a breakaway.

”we’re all happy for him,” thompson said. ”he’s usually the guy that’s dishing the puck, a pass-first kind of guy. He can score goals, too, apparently. It was a pleasure to watch.”

second period

Colorado took a 1-0 lead 3:33 into the game when gabriel landeskog kicked a sliding puck over to rantanen, who rocketed it into the net. The advantage lasted all of 55 seconds.

MacKinnon had an assist to extend his point streak to a career-best 14 games. It was also his 92nd point of the season, the most by an avalanche player since joe sakic had 100 in 2006-07.

NOTES: quick was credited with his fourth assist of the season on rieder’s goal. … dustin brown had two assists. … avs F carl soderberg missed a second straight game with an illness. … D tyson barrie had his 11-game point streak snapped.Game kings … rantanen and mackinnon both have 21 points in march, the most in the NHL.