LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Joe Sakic provided all the scoring for Colorado with his
13th career hat trick.
Avalanche enforcer Jim Cummins had a different kind of hat trick, and his
third fighting penalty proved costly to the Avalanche.
Sakic scored the tying goal with 12:49 remaining and rookie Philippe Sauve
made 34 saves as the Avalanche tied the Los Angeles Kings 3-3 Saturday night.
Sakic has scored Colorado's last five goals, and has nine in 12 games.
"You just get hot sometimes," said Sakic, an 11-time All-Star. "Nobody
stays hot for 82 games. I had some trouble scoring early in the season, but now
the goals are coming."
Cummins and Kings enforcer Kip Brennan fought each other in each of the
first two periods, with Brennan winning both. Cummins wanted to go a third time
with Brennan at 15:40 of the second, but threw all of the punches as Brennan
covered up -- and was the only one sent to the penalty box.
"I didn't have to prove anything else by fighting him again, so I just
tried to benefit the team,' said Brennan, who missed the previous nine games
because of a bruised leg. "It was kind of a selfish move on his part. It
wasn't really a team penalty that he took, but I think he wanted to redeem
himself and go out there and prove something to his coach, or whatever."
Cummins' instigator penalty and fighting major gave the Kings seven minutes
with the advantage, but they scored on only one of their seven shots.
"We'll take that any day," Colorado defenseman Rob Blake said. "It was a
tough penalty kill, but Jimmy's battled for us all year, so we returned a
couple of favors for him there."
Martin Straka split the defense and beat Sauve with a short backhander after
a turnover by the Avalanche in the neutral zone. But Sakic scored his third of
the night and 14th this season, beating Cristobal Huet from the slot to pull
the Avalanche even.
"We got caught in a poor line change," Kings coach Andy Murray said. "The
guys were tired and they tried to come off, but they can't change when the puck
is at center ice. Our defensemen didn't get it out and we ended up paying the
Eric Belanger and Joe Corvo also scored for the Kings, who extended their
home unbeaten streak to six games (4-0-2). Blake and Milan Hejduk each had two
assists for the Avalanche, winless in five games (0-2-3).
Roman Cechmanek, who sat out the previous three games because of an injured
left hip, was replaced by Huet at the start of the second period after giving
up two goals on six shots and aggravating the injury. Huet stopped 12 of 13
Luc Robitaille received two penalties at 10:45 of the period, and the
Avalanche converted both into goals to take a 2-1 lead. Sakic scored the first
one from the right of the crease.
He connected again on Colorado's next shot, scoring from the slot off a pass
from Blake. But the Kings tied it less than two minutes later, as Ziggy Palffy
threw the puck out from behind the net and Corvo beat Sauve.
The game began on a high note for the Kings, when Belanger scored on a wrist
shot from the slot.