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Kings Top Avalanche 5-3

by Staff Writer / Colorado Avalanche
DENVER (AP) - Pavol Demitra scored two goals and the Los Angeles Kings beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-3 on Wednesday night.

Michael Cammalleri and Lubomir Visnovsky added goals to help the Kings win for the sixth time in seven games. Tom Kostopoulos also scored for Los Angeles, which has won all three meetings with Colorado this season.

Mathieu Garon stopped 32 shots for his 16th win, outdueling both Avalanche counterparts.

Peter Budaj was yanked 11 minutes into the game after surrendering two goals on the four shots he faced. David Aebischer gave up three goals in 20 shots.

Milan Hejduk scored two goals, and Brett McLean added one in the third period for Colorado, which has lost three of five.

Cammalleri, Visnovsky and Demitra scored in the first period to give the Kings a 3-1 lead. Budaj let Cammalleri's shot get between his skate and the left post at 8:30 for his seventh goal in nine games.

Visnovsky scored from the slot on a give-and-go play with Derek Armstrong at 11:05, 15 seconds into a power play. Budaj was immediately replaced by Aebischer, the second time in two games that the Avalanche changed goalies in the first period.

McLean got the Avalanche back to 2-1 at 18:59 on a rebound shot after Garon stopped Hejduk on a 2-on-1 break. Los Angeles regained a two-goal edge when Aebischer whiffed on Demitra's shot from just beyond the blue line with 21 seconds left in the period.

Hejduk scored off a rebound of Rob Blake's shot with Colorado on the power play at 8:03 of the second period. Demitra countered with his second goal of the night at 13:03 on a shot that caromed off the right post into the net to give Los Angeles a 4-2 lead heading into the third period.

Kostopoulos made it 5-2 when he got free for a one-timer at 8:21 of the third period. Hejduk got his second of the game at 12:38.

Post-Game Notes

The Avalanche sent G Vitaly Kolesnik to Lowell of the AHL. ... D Aaron Miller was a scratch for the Kings because of a sore lower back ... The Kings improved to 3-0 against the Avalanche this season ... Lubomir Visnovsky extended his points streak to nine games, a season high for a Kings player...It's also the longest scoring streak by an NHL defenseman in 2005-06 ... Rob Blake extended his assist/point streak to five games (1g 5a), one shy of tying his career high for both consecutive games with an assist and consecutive games with a point.


Milan Hejduk: "I feel better on the ice and more comfortable and confident with the puck. But obviously it didn't help tonight. I think we always bounce back pretty good, even though we lost tonight. We always seem to fall behind at the start of the game and it's such a tough battle back. When you're down two or three goals, you're not going to come back every game. It's going to happen once-in-a-while but not every game."

David Aebischer: On The Goaltending Situation... "I felt pretty confident, especially the last period. We've got two goaltenders in practice now, which is good. No one has to sit out and feel left out. So I think it's a better situation for me and Peter (Budaj)." On Demitra's Goal At The End Of The First... "I'd like to have that one back. The other two, it would be nice to have them back too. Other than that, you can't be pleased to lose 5-3. But it's a step in the right direction for me."

Dan Hinote: "It's frustrating. But there's things we need to fix, we know that. We're professionals in here. We have good leadership and good coaching. But the nicest part is, it's things we can fix and we will do that." On Inconsistency... "If we start to solidify our game on a consistent basis, we'll get the two points and the results that we need every night. Right now we're giving the other team more chances than we'd like. And when you do that, in this league, you are going to give up a lot of goals."

Luc Robitaille: "We weren't licking our chops. We just wanted to put the puck into the net as much as possible. It seems like our guy missed his shot and it goes in, stuff like that. When a guy (Aebischer) is struggling, those seem to go that way." On Garon... "He's been amazing for the past two months. And tonight, certainly he was outstanding. You can tell the puck looks big to him and he's been just unbelievable."

Pavol Demitra: "I like to play against those guys. They've got a great team and it's always fun. They have a lot of offense. They have a lot of skill like Sakic, Hejduk and those guys. I think they're struggling with their goalies and it's tough." On His First Goal... "I just tried to hit the puck as hard as I could and I know somebody touched it. I was just following the puck. It was kind of a knuckleball and it was a great goal. I don't think I've ever scored a goal like that."

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