The Kings' hierarchy came to Las Vegas to take a look at a few kids and get an inkling of what off-season acquisitions might produce.
They learned that there could be a problem.
Keith Jones, camped out near the crease in front of the Kings' Frederic Chabot, back-handed a rebound of Stephane Yelle's shot at 12:55 of the third period to give Colorado a 5-4 win Sunday night before 5,228 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
It earned the Avalanche a split in the two-game series that opened the exhibition season.
"We can do a better job of clearing the front of the net," King Coach Larry Robinson said.
In all, two Avalanche goals came on power plays and two--scored 14 seconds apart in the first period--came when Colorado was short-handed and were the result of defensive gaffes by Garry Galley, who whiffed when he tried to keep a puck in the offensive zone with his skate; and Steve Duchesne, whose pocket was picked in open ice by Colorado's Peter Forsberg.
"Those two [short-handed] goals hurt," Robinson said. "And we needed to do a better job of penalty killing."