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Avalanche Falls To Kings 4-3

by Staff Writer / Colorado Avalanche
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Pavol Demitra scored the go-ahead goal on a power play with 3:32 remaining to complete his fourth career hat trick, leading the Los Angeles Kings to a 4-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night.

Sean Avery also scored and the Mathieu Garon made 34 saves for the Kings.

Pierre Turgeon scored twice for Colorado and set up Alex Tanguay's power-play goal. But Turgeon received an elbowing penalty that led to the winning goal, which brought a cascade of souvenir hats onto the ice.

Demitra got the puck from Michael Cammalleri in the left circle and took a shot that hit the leg of a Colorado player. But it bounced back to Demitra, who whipped a 15-footer past goalie David Aebischer's stick from the slot for his 11th goal. It was Demitra's first hat trick for the Kings, and it followed a seven-game goal drought.

Demitra put the Kings ahead 3-2 with 14:48 left in the third period, a second after the Avalanche finished killing a cross-checking penalty against rookie Marek Svatos. Demitra attempted a pass for Craig Conroy that deflected off the skate of Colorado defenseman Patrice Brisebois and went between Aebischer's pads. Turgeon got the equalizer with 10:13 left in regulation, his seventh goal this season.

Turgeon tied it at 2 at 15:19 of the second period, jumping on a loose puck and scoring into a wide-open net after Karlis Skrastins' cross-ice pass in front of the crease struck teammate Andrew Brunette in the back.

Los Angeles was killing a hooking penalty to Avery when Kings defenseman Tim Gleason broke up a pass in the Colorado zone and sent Demitra on a breakaway while falling forward. Demitra, who scored twice against Aebischer in a come-from-behind 5-4 victory at Colorado on Oct. 19, put a couple of moves on him before sliding the puck between the goalie's pads at 12:12 of the first period for his sixth career short-handed goal.

Avery put Los Angeles ahead 2-1, backhanding his own rebound past Aebischer's glove jut 51 seconds before the first intermission. Aebischer, making his first start in three games after surrendering eight goals on 30 shots during his previous two starts, was still upset about the late goal at the end of the period and slammed his stick against the boards as the teams headed for the dressing room.

Colorado forward Ian Laperriere, who scored 61 goals in eight-plus seasons with Los Angeles and was a crowd favorite because of his pugilistic exploits, played his first game at Staples Center since leaving the Kings for free agency in July. He was welcomed back with a video tribute on the scoreboard during the first period.

Game notes Turgeon, who has 503 career goals, was the first overall selection in the 1987 entry draft. The only No. 1 overall picks who have scored more goals than Turgeon since the draft was established in 1963 are Mario Lemieux (683), Guy Lafleur (560), Dale Hawerchuk (518) and Gilbert Perreault (512). ... Kings captain Mattias Norstrom, who came to the Kings with Laperriere in a trade that sent Jari Kurri and Marty McSorley to the New York Rangers in March 1996, is two games away from tying Rob Blake's franchise record of 662 games played by a defenseman. Blake was traded by the Kings to Colorado in February 2001. ... Joe Sakic got an assist on Tanguay's goal for his 1,421st point, edging past Adam Oates into 13th place on the career list. ... LW Ryan Flinn was recalled by Los Angeles from Manchester of the AHL, changing places with G Adam Hauser. Jason LaBarbara returned to the Kings after dealing with some personal issues and served as Garon's backup.

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