for this game

Three first-period goals fuel Avalanche past lowly Kings

Dec 18, 2007 - 7:17 AM
LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- The Colorado Avalanche made sure that Jason LaBarbera did not enjoy his return.

Ryan Smyth sparked a first-period rally and Peter Budaj made 19 saves as the Avalanche held on for a 4-2 triumph over the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night.

Brett Clark and Jean-Michael Liles each had two assists for the Avalanche, who have won three straight games.

"I think our guys were playing really well defensively," Budaj said. "We were thinking defense first. When that happens we're going to create a lot of scoring chances and not allow many."

Smyth opened the scoring on a power play at 2:37, beating LaBarbera with a backhander. It was Smyth's 11th goal of the season.

"It's a big win for us," Smyth said. "We've been struggling on the road. We got off to a good start tonight."

Colorado doubled its lead just 62 ticks later when Jaroslav Hlinka notched his fifth tally of the campaign, launching a wrist shot past LaBarbera to extend the advantage to 2-0.

Paul Stastny gave the Avalanche a 3-0 edge with 5:48 remaining in the opening period, firing a wrist shot past LaBarbera for his team-leading 15th tally.

LaBarbera, who has been out of the lineup since December 1 with soreness in his ribs, kept Los Angeles in the contest by stopping 36 of the 39 shots he faced.

"I feel pretty good," LaBarbera said. "It took a little bit of time to get going, felt a little rusty in the first period, but physically I feel good."

Dustin Brown ended Budaj's shutout bid just 36 seconds into the third period while on a man advantage when he deflected defenseman Rob Blake's shot into the goal to cut the deficit to 3-1.

Michal Handzus halved Colorado's lead with a shorthanded goal at 4:46 of the final session when he beat Budaj with a wrist shot. Handzus' third shorthanded tally of the season made the score 3-2.

"It's frustrating," LaBarbera said. "You can't get behind 3-0 against a team like that. We did a good job in the third trying to come back."

"Obviously, things didn't go the way we wanted in the third period," Smyth said. "But we persevered and came out with a win."

Ben Guite sealed the victory for the Avalanche with an empty-net goal with just 67 seconds left in the game.

The Kings have lost four consecutive contests and eight of their last 10 as they own the worst record in the NHL.

"For whatever reason, it just doesn't seem like we can get 60 minutes together," LaBarbera said. "It's costing us games and putting us further down in the standings."

"The game was lost on the number of turnovers we had and the number of lost puck battles down low in our end," former Avalanche and current Kings coach Marc Crawford said. "Those were the things that ended up being the difference makers."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLORADO 3 0 1 4
    LOS ANGELES 0 0 2 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COL - (PP) RYAN SMYTH 11 (BRETT CLARK, JOHN-MICHAEL LILES)
    2:37
    COL - JAROSLAV HLINKA 5 (BRETT CLARK) 3:39
    COL - PAUL STASTNY 15 (MILAN HEJDUK, JOHN-MICHAEL LILES)
    14:12
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: LOS - (PP) DUSTIN BROW

    Dec 18 12:57 AM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 4
    LOS ANGELES 2
    3RD PRD: COL - BEN GUITE 3 (UNASSISTED) 18:53

    Avalanche vs. KingsDec 18 12:57 AM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 3
    LOS ANGELES 2
    3RD PRD: LOS - (SH) MICHAL HANDZUS 5 (PATRICK O'SULLIVAN) 4:46

    Avalanche vs. KingsDec 18 12:31 AM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 3
    LOS ANGELES 1
    3RD PRD: LOS - (PP) DUSTIN BROWN 15 (ROB BLAKE, ANZE KOPITAR) 0:36

    Avalanche vs. KingsDec 18 12:23 AM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLORADO 3 0 3
    LOS ANGELES 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COL - (PP) RYAN SMYTH 11 (BRETT CLARK, JOHN-MICHAEL LILES)
    2:37
    COL - JAROSLAV HLINKA 5 (BRETT CLARK) 3:39
    COL - PAUL STASTNY 15 (MILAN HEJDUK, JOHN-MICHAEL LILES)
    14:12
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL:

    Dec 18 12:05 AM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLORADO 3 3
    LOS ANGELES 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COL - (PP) RYAN SMYTH 11 (BRETT CLARK, JOHN-MICHAEL LILES)
    2:37
    COL - JAROSLAV HLINKA 5 (BRETT CLARK) 3:39
    COL - PAUL STASTNY 15 (MILAN HEJDUK, JOHN-MICHAEL LILES)
    14:12
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND

    Dec 17 11:13 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 3
    LOS ANGELES 0
    1ST PRD: COL - PAUL STASTNY 15 (MILAN HEJDUK, JOHN-MICHAEL LILES)
    14:12

    Avalanche vs. KingsDec 17 11:04 PM
  • 5
    roots
    lpickrell Added 5 roots

    Avalanche vs. KingsDec 17 11:02 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 2
    LOS ANGELES 0
    1ST PRD: COL - JAROSLAV HLINKA 5 (BRETT CLARK) 3:39

    Avalanche vs. KingsDec 17 10:46 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 1
    LOS ANGELES 0
    1ST PRD: COL - (PP) RYAN SMYTH 11 (BRETT CLARK, JOHN-MICHAEL LILES)
    2:37

    Avalanche vs. KingsDec 17 10:45 PM