DENVER (AP) — J.T. Compher scored three goals for his first career hat trick to lead the Colorado Avalanche to a 6-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday night.
The victory kept Colorado in the hunt for the Presidents’ Trophy and home-ice advantage throughout the postseason. The Avalanche clinched home ice for the first round and could finish first overall in the NHL by beating Los Angeles again Thursday night.
A win would give Colorado 82 points, tied with West Division rival Vegas, but the Avalanche hold the tiebreaker of regulation wins. The Golden Knights beat San Jose 6-0 on Wednesday night. If Colorado doesn’t earn two points, it will open the playoffs against Minnesota.
Philipp Grubauer made 18 saves for his seventh shutout of the season and 18th of his career. Gabriel Landeskog scored his 20th goal, the eighth time he’s reached the mark, and added an assist. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Joonas Donskoi also scored, and Mikko Rantanen had three assists.
The Avalanche scored three goals in a span of 4 minutes, 32 seconds, including one by Compher, at the end of the first period.
Compher got his second goal on a feed from Devon Toews in the second period. He completed the hat trick with his 10th goal at 11:47 of the second period.
The Kings managed just three shots in the first period and 11 through the first 40 minutes. Los Angeles has lost five straight to Colorado and six of seven overall.
Cal Petersen stopped 31 shots for the Kings.
NOTES: Colorado coach Jared Bednar said after Wednesday’s morning skate that Nathan MacKinnon was day to day with his undisclosed injury. MacKinnon is expected to be ready for the start of the playoffs. ... Los Angeles reassigned forward Quinton Byfield to Ontario of the AHL. Byfield had been with the taxi squad. ... Avalanche D Samuel Girard, who turned 23 Wednesday, returned after missing six games with a lower-body injury.
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