NHL Game Summary - Colorado at Los Angeles
(Monday, October 20th)
Final Score: Colorado 4, Los Angeles 3
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Milan Hejduk and David Jones scored 75 seconds apart in the second period, and Ryan Smyth netted a pair of goals in Colorado's 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings.
Peter Budaj stopped 26 shots for the Avalanche, who have won three in a row after dropping their first three to start the season.
"Sometimes you don't play as well as you want to and sometimes you find ways to win," said Avalanche coach Tony Granato. "Tonight was one of those games we were able to win where we probably didn't play as well as we wanted."
Eighteen-year-old Drew Doughty, the second overall pick in this year's draft, netted his first career goal for the Kings. Oscar Moller and Patrick O'Sullivan also scored for Los Angeles, which had won its two previous games.
Jason LaBarbera allowed four goals on just 14 shots before being lifted after two periods. Erik Ersberg saved both shots he faced in the third period.
Smyth's fourth goal of the season, with 3:28 left in the second, widened the margin to 4-2. He skated with the puck through the slot before lifting a backhand past LaBarbera to the top right corner of the net.
The Kings immediately got within a goal early in the third when Doughty's snap shot from the left circle squeezed past the glove of Budaj at the 2:25 mark.
The Kings had eight shots in the final period and pulled their goaltender for the extra attacker, but couldn't capitalize. Moller's shot from above the right circle in the closing seconds was stopped by Budaj. An ensuing face off with 6.5 seconds left resulted in a loose puck and the time ran out.
"We were really happy about our third period effort," said O'Sullivan. "We competed and that's something we can build on. We work really hard as a team and if we just eliminate those couple mistakes we're going to be good."
Moller netted his first career goal at 6:19 of the opening period, a power play marker, as his shot from a sharp angle on the left side went between the pads of Budaj.
Smyth's first goal of the night came just over five minutes later from in front, but the Kings went back on top at 3:02 of the second on O'Sullivan's backhand rebound score from the left side.
Hejduk scored 59 seconds later on a blast from the right circle after a turnover from Michal Handzus. It was Hejduk's fourth goal in his last three games and sixth overall this season.
The Avalanche took advantage of another turnover in the LA zone, this one from Tom Preissing, and Jones made the Kings pay by scoring on a shot from the slot.
The Kings concluded a four-game homestand and will play at St. Louis on Friday...Colorado returns home to play Edmonton on Thursday... Hejduk has goals in five of Colorado's six games this year...The Kings have killed off all 23 of their opponent power plays this season...Colorado's Joe Sakic had a point in every game this season until Monday...Paul Stastny had a pair of assists for the Avalanche, giving him at least a point in every game this season...Colorado has posted victories in four of the last five meetings, including three straight in LA...The Avs were 0-for-4 on the power play, while LA was 1-for-4.
10/21 02:17:29 ET