LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The Los Angeles Kings' special teams had to be at their
best to compete with one of the NHL's special teams.
Derek Armstrong scored the tying goal with 3:15 left in the third period,
and the Kings got power-play goals from Alexander Frolov and rookie Scott
Barney against the league's best penalty-killing unit in a 3-3 tie with the
Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night.
``It was a gratifying tie,'' Kings coach Andy Murray said. ``Our penalty
killing stepped up for us tonight and we were able to get a couple of
power-play goals, too.''
Milan Hejduk and Alex Tanguay each had a goal and an assist, and Travis
Brigley also scored for the Avalanche, who extended their road unbeaten streak
to seven games. They are 12-1-2 in their last 15 overall, and lead the NHL with
``Of course, we have a lot of talent, but if you don't work hard there's no
way you're going to score goals,'' Avalanche goaltender David Aebischer said.
``We have talented players who work very hard, and that's why we score a lot of
Armstrong got his ninth of the season on an easy tap-in, after Trent Klatt
shrugged off a check by defenseman Martin Skoula and was stopped a few feet
from the net by Aebischer.
``We had a ton of scoring chances, but we didn't put them away and we paid
the price for it,'' Colorado's Paul Kariya said. ``If you let a team hang in
there like we did, they get a bounce and it's going to be a tie game.''
Kings goalie Cristobal Huet, who beat the Avalanche 2-0 in Denver on Nov.
22, started for the first time since Jan. 7 and made 26 saves.
Brigley, playing his second game after missing the previous 18 because of a
back injury, gave the Avalanche a 2-1 lead at 5:01 of the second period.
Hejduk made it a two-goal margin less than four minutes later, scoring on a
wraparound into a wide-open net after Huet came out a little too far on the
rush and got tangled up with defenseman Joe Corvo while trying to scramble back
to his feet.
Hejduk's goal was his 25th in 51 games this season _ the same number he had
at this stage last season, when he led the NHL with 50. Tanguay, who will play
in his first All-Star game Feb. 8, set it up with his league-leading 41st
``The thing about Hejduk is his consistency and his hands around the net,''
Colorado coach Tony Granato said. ``He's scored big goals for us ever since he
got here. That's his strength. He's very tenacious on the puck. He finds
openings and finds ways to get available.''
Frolov narrowed the gap to 3-2 at 13:26 of the second period, scoring his
17th on a goalmouth scramble while Avalanche captain Joe Sakic was off for
hooking. The goal came shortly after the Avalanche, who have the league's best
power play, failed to score on a five-on-three advantage they had for 1:40.
``The turning point was that five-on-three,'' Armstrong said. ``If they
scored, it would have been 4-1. The penalty kill did a great job, and Cristobal
Huet stayed in there.''
Brigley was serving a high-sticking penalty when the Kings opened the
scoring at 7:59 of the first. Barney tipped in a slap shot by Mattias Norstrom,
but the lead lasted just 63 seconds because Tanguay scored during a goalmouth
scramble after Forsberg started the play from behind the net.