for this game

Smyth scores twice as Avalanche crown Kings

Dec 2, 2007 - 7:19 AM
By Craig Shultz PA Sportsticker Contributing Writer

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Ryan Smyth helped the Colorado Avalanche overcome their road woes.

Smyth scored two goals and set up another as the Avalanche cruised to a 5-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.

Paul Stastny added a goal and an assist for Colorado, which had lost five of its previous six contests away from the Pepsi Center.

"You fight through a little adversity with not playing as well as we can be on the road," Smyth said. "We've been playing well at home, but we have to find a way to do it on the road.

"For us to be successful in this league, we have to make sure we're minimizing little things, (such as) turnovers. I thought we did that tonight."

Facing a two-goal deficit early in the game, the Avalanche scored five unanswered tallies en route to their fourth road win of the season.

"We got behind the eight ball and we knew this team was capable of going the other way, and we had to make sure that we eliminated that," Smyth said. "It's not something that we want to do, spot teams and find a way back into a hockey game, but we found a way tonight. I thought collectively, everybody played well."

"It was a great effort across the board and was a pleasure to see us battle the way we did," Colorado coach Joel Quenneville said. "The energy level that we had was as good as we've seen all year long."

Smyth netted the game-winning goal just 19 seconds into the third period, when he took a feed from behind the net by Milan Hejduk, streaked in and stuffed the puck past goaltender Jason LaBarbera.

Smyth scored again - his eighth tally of the season - at 11:25 of the final session with a turnaround wrist shot that beat Jean-Sebastien Aubin, who had replaced an injured LaBarbera, to give the Avalanche a 4-2 advantage.

"I was fortunate to play with (Stastny) and (Hejduk) and get out there and get my opportunities, and I took full advantage of it tonight," Smyth said. "I'm just trying to get to the net a little bit more."

Colorado got some insurance just under three minutes later, when Jaroslav Hlinka notched his third goal of the season to provide the final margin.

"We've got a lot of character," Avalanche goaltender Jose Theodore said. "We were down 2-0, but then we scored a big, big goal toward the end (of the first period) to make it 2-1. Every time you're down only a goal after one period, you're in good shape.

"I thought the second and third periods were our best periods. We jut battled. I was just making the saves when I had to."

Stastny did not need a lot of wood to get the Avalanche on the scoresheet. Stastny took a pass from Smyth and unleashed a shot that he did not hit squarely, but the puck fluttered over LaBarbera's glove for his team-high 10th goal with 65 seconds left in the first period, cutting Colorado 's deficit to 2-1.

T.J. Hensick's first career goal tied the game at 2-2 with 8:48 remaining in the middle session. After taking a pass from Tyler Arnason, Hensick skated in alone on LaBarbera, shaking off a hook from a defender and scoring to the short side.

Hensick, who Colorado drafted in the third round in 2005, played his NHL first game Friday at San Jose after being recalled from Lake Erie of the American Hockey League.

Los Angeles took advantage of a turnover to take a 1-0 lead 5:02 into the game.

After Avalanche defenseman Kyle Cumiskey lost the puck in his own zone, Patrick O'Sullivan picked it up to the left of Theodore and sent a pass across the crease to tough guy Raitis Ivanans, who put the puck into the open right side of the net for his second goal of the season.

Anze Kopitar gave to Kings a 2-0 bulge at 17:12 of the first, when he took a dish pass from O'Sullivan and shot the puck over Theodore's glove.

"It wasn't our best performance tonight," Los Angeles coach Marc Crawford said. "We had a great first period and it looked like we were going to have a great game, and then the wheels fell completely off. I wish I had an explanation as to why."

"There's no excuse for that game to be the way it was," Kings left wing Kyle Calder added. "We came out hard and played a solid first period. We just didn't play that way in the second and third."

The Avalanche were without captain Joe Sakic (groin) and defenseman Kurt Sauer, and Andrew Brunette left in the second period with an undisclosed injury.

"We need to pick up points on the road," Theodore said. "You know how important the points are. (Friday), we lost a tight game, but I thought tonight the guys really regrouped. We had some of our key guys not playing, and everybody did a little more and showed a lot of character."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLORADO 1 1 3 5
    LOS ANGELES 2 0 0 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: LOS - RAITIS IVANANS 2 (PATRICK O'SULLIVAN) 5:20
    LOS - ANZE KOPITAR 11 (PATRICK O'SULLIVAN, DUSTIN BROWN)
    17:12
    COL - PAUL STASTNY 10 (RYAN SMYTH, SCOTT HANNAN) 18:55
    2ND PRD: COL - T.J. HENSICK 1 (TYLER ARNASON, SCO

    Dec 2 12:57 AM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 5
    LOS ANGELES 2
    3RD PRD: COL - JAROSLAV HLINKA 3 (BEN GUITE) 14:23

    Avalanche vs. KingsDec 2 12:48 AM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 4
    LOS ANGELES 2
    3RD PRD: COL - RYAN SMYTH 8 (PAUL STASTNY, JEFF FINGER) 11:25

    Avalanche vs. KingsDec 2 12:43 AM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 3
    LOS ANGELES 2
    3RD PRD: COL - PAUL STASTNY 11 (RYAN SMYTH, MILAN HEJDUK) 0:19

    Avalanche vs. KingsDec 2 12:20 AM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLORADO 1 1 2
    LOS ANGELES 2 0 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: LOS - RAITIS IVANANS 2 (PATRICK O'SULLIVAN) 5:20
    LOS - ANZE KOPITAR 11 (PATRICK O'SULLIVAN, DUSTIN BROWN)
    17:12
    COL - PAUL STASTNY 10 (RYAN SMYTH, SCOTT HANNAN) 18:55
    2ND PRD: COL - T.J. HENSICK 1 (TYLER

    Dec 2 12:01 AM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 2
    LOS ANGELES 2
    2ND PRD: COL - T.J. HENSICK 1 (TYLER ARNASON, SCOTT HANNAN) 11:12

    Avalanche vs. KingsDec 1 11:47 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLORADO 1 1
    LOS ANGELES 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: LOS - RAITIS IVANANS 2 (PATRICK O'SULLIVAN) 5:20
    LOS - ANZE KOPITAR 11 (PATRICK O'SULLIVAN, DUSTIN BROWN)
    17:12
    COL - PAUL STASTNY 10 (RYAN SMYTH, SCOTT HANNAN) 18:55
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD

    Dec 1 11:11 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 1
    LOS ANGELES 2
    1ST PRD: COL - PAUL STASTNY 10 (RYAN SMYTH, SCOTT HANNAN) 18:55

    Avalanche vs. KingsDec 1 11:11 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 0
    LOS ANGELES 2
    1ST PRD: LOS - ANZE KOPITAR 11 (PATRICK O'SULLIVAN, DUSTIN BROWN)
    17:12

    Avalanche vs. KingsDec 1 11:06 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 0
    LOS ANGELES 1
    1ST PRD: LOS - RAITIS IVANANS 2 (PATRICK O'SULLIVAN) 5:20

    Avalanche vs. KingsDec 1 10:47 PM