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Kings: Dustin Brown carves up Avs

12/22/2010

Michael Martin/NHLI/Getty Images

Jonathan Quick stopped 23 shots in the Kings' 5-0 victory at Colorado.

Kings 5, Colorado Avalanche 0

Eight keys to the game:

THE FACTS: Dustin Brown matched his career-high with four points Tuesday night and the Kings ended their five-game road trip on a winning note.

THE STAT: The Avalanche came in as the highest-scoring team in the NHL but were shut out for the first time this season as Kings goalie Jonathan Quick stopped 23 shots. The last time Colorado was shut out during the regular season was Feb. 13, when Quick stopped 22 shots in a 3-0 victory at Staples Center.

TURNING POINT: Scoring first has been huge for the Kings this season and they received their first goal from one of the more unlikely sources, defenseman Rob Scuderi. Brown set up the play when he made a nice move around Tomas Fleischmann, passed to Anze Kopitar behind the Colorado net and he then found Scuderi at the top of the right face-off circle. Scuderi’s first shot was saved, but he back-handed in the rebound for his first goal since October 2008, a span of 185 games.

HOT: Brown had a hand in the first four goals. He assisted on the first two, swatted in Kopitar’s rebound for the third and then, just seconds after leaving the penalty box, carried the puck from below his own blue line, cut across the high slot and beat Colorado goalkeeper Craig Anderson with a nifty wrist shot. Brown now has 15 points in his last nine games. His only other four-point game came April 1 against visiting Vancouver.

NOT: Fleischmann, who was rumored to be headed to the Kings at one point this season but instead was traded to the Avalanche on Dec. 1, was beaten on the first two goals, did not manage a shot on net and was a minus-3 for the game.

GOOD MOVE: Kings coach Terry Murray seemed more intent on getting Marco Sturm in the game than Sturm was, and it turned out to be a solid debut for the 13-year veteran. Sturm was traded from Boston to the Kings on Dec. 11 and had not played since undergoing knee surgery last spring. Sturm finished with 11 minutes 42 seconds of ice time and managed a shot on goal, a hit and a takeaway.

BAD MOVE: Colorado defenseman Ryan Wilson thought he’d take a dive in the third period to induce a tripping penalty on Brown. The acting job worked, but just seemed to anger Brown, who promptly scored 18 seconds after leaving the penalty box.

NOTABLE: The Kings finished 3-2 on the road trip, outscoring their opponents, 22-10, including a pair of shutout victories. They ended six-game winning streaks by Colorado and Nashville, and knocked off another hot Western Conference team, the Detroit Red Wings. The Kings also moved back into the top eight in the conference standings and now play 10 of their next 12 games at home, where they own the league’s best winning percentage (11-2-1).

UP NEXT: Thursday at Staples Center vs. the Edmonton Oilers, 7:30 p.m.