January 3, 2012 10:00 am

The view from Denver

Is the tide starting to turn for the Colorado Avalanche against the Kings? The Kings swept the four-game series against the Avalanche last season, but now Colorado is 2-0 this season against the Kings. Last night, the Avalanche had only a handful of quality scoring opportunities until less than six minutes remained in regulation, when the Kings’ Kyle Clifford had an untimely turnover and the puck ended up in the Kings’ net. Colorado is 18-2-0 this season when allowing two or fewer goals, so goalie Semyon Varlamov certainly did his job. Colorado is 7-0 in shootouts this season and has won 10 consecutive shootouts, dating to last season. Here’s how The Denver Post covered last night’s game, followed by some additional postgame quotes from the Avalanche’s locker room…

Avalanche beat Kings 2-1 in shootout

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COACH JOE SACCO
(on the game…) “We have some confidence if we do good in shootouts. We have some guys who really know what to do with the puck, and when you feel good about yourself and those situations, you can build that confidence. It’s a big win tonight. Obviously it’s another conference win against a team that we’re fighting with in points. It’s a good game. Our goaltender was solid all night long. Varly [Semyon Varlamov] played really well, gave us a good chance to win tonight. After that first goal that they got, we started to get our legs and started playing more. Good result tonight for our team.’’

(on Colorado’s goaltending…) “Both goaltenders were solid. All we ask of our goalies is to give us a chance to compete and a chance to win every night, and they’ve definitely been doing that. You need goaltending in this league. We have certainly got our fair share from our guys and they continue to play well for us. I like our whole game though. Tonight was a tough game for us.’’

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MILAN HEJDUK
(on the game…) “We had a tough start. They were all over us but we came back. It was a hard battle to the end. I felt like in the second and third periods, we started rolling (our lines) better. We spent more time in their zone creating some scoring chances there and finally put one in there with five minutes left.’’

(on not giving up…) “This year we won so many tight games and we are pretty comfortable in this position, being down a goal. We still battled and knew it was a one-goal game and we kept coming. (Varlamov) gave us big saves when we needed them and finally we scored one goal and won in a shootout.’’

(on his shootout goal…) “I just tried to skate fast and slow down a little bit, so he’s deeper in his net, and look for what was going to be open.’’

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SEMYON VARLAMOV
(on the game…) “We played much better in the third period. Got some moments and we scored, so it’s really good.’’

(on his success in shootout…) “Nothing special. I don’t know, maybe just good luck. I don’t like shootouts.’’

(on Colorado’s team defense…) “Defensively we played very well today. I saw every shot. The defense is doing a great job playing rebounds.’’

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