Colorado Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar says there were signs of fatigue among his players despite extending their hot streak with a 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.
The Avalanche have won five straight and are 10-0-1 from their past 11 games to sit atop the Western Conference's Central Division.
Mikko Rantanen, Kiefer Sherwood, Nicolas Aube-Kubel and Devon Toews all scored for Colorado while Darcy Kuemper made 40 saves to them to back-to-back wins.
Anze Kopitar scored a power-play goal for the Kings in the second period to make it 2-1, but third period goals from Aube-Kubel and Toews – an empty-netter with 1:35 remaining – sealed the win.
“We were not good through two periods, even just the simplest of tasks, plays, breakouts, regroups,” Bednar told reporters. “We were not moving the puck efficiently. We were beating it up. To me, that’s a sign of fatigue.
“To finish the game the way we did with the stretch that we’ve been on, we’ll take the two points. It is what it is. We needed our goaltender tonight again, just like last night in Anaheim. We got the job done.
“I’m pretty proud of our group, especially after the way they played in the third period after what was a pretty rough night for two periods.”