NHL Game Summary - Colorado at Los Angeles
(Saturday, December 1st)
Final Score: Colorado 5, Los Angeles 2
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Ryan Smyth notched two goals and an assist, as Colorado rebounded from an early two-goal deficit to score five unanswered goals and top Los Angeles, 5-2, at Staples Center.
Paul Stastny added a goal and a helper for the Avalanche, who won for the third time in their last five. T.J. Hensick and Jaroslav Hlinka also scored, and Jose Theodore needed just 17 stops to post his first win in five starts.
"We knew they would come out tough," Smyth admitted. "We put ourselves behind the eight-ball, we don't want to put ourselves in that situation, but we found our way back."
Anze Kopitar and Raitis Ivanans tallied for the Kings, who have dropped seven of their last nine outings. Patrick O'Sullivan had two assists in defeat.
Jason Labarbera allowed three goals on 29 shots before leaving in the third period after being injured during a tangle in the crease with Smyth. Jean- Sebastien Aubin gave up two goals on five shots in relief.
Smyth's score from a goalmouth scramble 19 seconds into the third period gave Colorado its first lead of the contest. Stastny and Milan Hejduk had whacks at the puck but Smyth was credited with the poke that counted.
While the Avs skated with the extra man, and with 5:20 played in the period, LaBarbera exited the game after being speared by Smyth's stick in a collision in front of the net. Aubin came in and the Kings successfully killed off the penalty, but they could not seize momentum.
"There is no reason for a jab like that to happen," said Kings head coach Marc Crawford.
The Avs then took a two-goal lead with 8:35 remaining, as Smyth wheeled around from the right side of the net and stashed the puck home on the far side.
Colorado went up 5-2 with 5:37 to go as Ben Guite's second-chance rebound slipped across the crease to Hlinka for an emphatic tap-in.
"That was satisfying across the board," said Avs head coach Joel Quenneville. "It was nice to see Smitty's line do well. Jose hung in there and our energy on the ice and bench was there."
Normally a checker and puncher, Ivanans collected his second goal of the season at 5:20 of the first.
Kopitar made it 2-0 with 2:48 to go in the period, taking O'Sullivan's backhand feed through the crease for a one-timer to the far side.
Colorado cut its deficit to 2-1 with a little more than a minute to go, as Stastny managed to push Smyth's centering feed into the net.
Hensick brought the Avs back with 8:48 to play in the second. On a delayed penalty call, he rolled down the right wing and tucked a shot to the short side. It was the youngster's first NHL goal in just his second game.
The Kings have won six of the last eight matchups...Avs defenseman Scott Hannan recorded a pair of assists, his first multi-point game in an Avalanche uniform...Joe Sakic didn't play due to a sore groin, ending his consecutive- games streak at 232...Avs winger Marek Svatos and Kings forward Mike Cammalleri also missed the game due to groin issues.
12/02 01:41:46 ET