DENVER (KDVR) — Tyson Jost scored two goals in the 5-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings as the Colorado Avalanche secured the National Hockey League’s Presidents’ Trophy with the best regular-season record.
Colorado was down by one after LA’s Sean Walker scored an unassisted goal at the end of the first period.
The Avs exploded in the second period with five goals in less than 10 minutes. Jost opened up the scoring at 9:46 and followed it up with a second at 11:38. It is the first multi-goal game for Jost this season. Mikko Rantanen assisted on both Jost’s goals.
Pierre Edouard Bellemare scored at 14:26 in the second period and Joonas Donskoi put one in two and half minutes later. Andrei Burakovsky scored a goal and an assist.
Conor Timmins posted two points with assists on Jost’s second goal of the game and Donskoi’s 17th goal of the season. Jonas Johansson made 21 saves to help the Avalanche finish 7-1 against the Kings this season.
“The playoffs are a different animal. Everybody knows that,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. “No one’s going to look at us and say, ‘Yep, they won the Presidents’ Trophy. We’re going to roll over everyone.’ It’s not going to happen. It’s going to be a tough grind. It can put a target on your back, but we have to be comfortable with that.”
The Avalanche will face the St. Louis Blues in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs playing Game 1 on Monday night. The teams faced each other eight times this season, with the Avs winning five of the eight. The Avalanche have home-ice advantage for the playoffs.
This is the third Presidents’ Trophy for the Avalanche. The team lost in the Conference Finals of the 1996-97 season to the Detroit Red Wings but won the Stanley Cup in the 2000-01 season.
“We set high expectations,” Bednar said. “I don’t think we should shy away from trying to achieve them, and the Presidents’ Trophy is one of them.”
Colorado and the Vegas Golden Knights both finished with 82 points, but the Avs earned the division crown and the Presidents’ Trophy due to more regulation wins.