"Every once in a while a new line combination generates something," Sakic said. "We made the change after my power-play goal and the tonight the change worked."
"I had a gut feeling when I changed the lines," Colorado coach Bob Hartley said. "After two or three shifts, I felt that mixing it up could provide some sparks for us, and it did."
The Kings, who own the second best power play, were 0-for-4 with two shots with the man advantage.
"The power play was the difference," Los Angeles coach Andy Murray said. "They got goals on their power play and we didn't. We really didn't generate any shots."
Smolinski gave Los Angeles a 1-0 lead 56 seconds in after Luc Robitaille set up his 10th goal of the season with a wrap-around pass. Colorado, which hadn't scored in nearly five periods, struck twice 32 seconds apart.
Sakic got his 17th goal at 10:27 of the first period, taking a cross-ice pass from Forsberg in the lower right circle and sending a shot past Storr. It ended a 93-minute, 22-second drought since Greg de Vries scored with 2:55 left in the second period on Dec. 15th.
Tanguay got a gift goal 32 seconds later when his shot from the left boards bounced off Storr's stick into the net.
"That goal was huge," Sakic said. "To go down 1-0 so quickly, Tanguay's goal right after mine helped our momentum."
Colorado maintained its 2-1 lead through the second period, but had to kill two penalties. The Kings managed only one shot and had no quality chances while on the power play.
Hinote extended the Avalanche lead to 3-1, converting a rebound at 7:04. Storr stopped a shot by Eric Messier, but the puck bounded right back to Hinote in the slot. Schneider matched it for Los Angeles at 10:42 with a shot past Roy's stick after Lubomir Visnovsky dropped him a pass in the slot.
But Sakic got his second of the night at 15:24 on a shot that dribbled between Storr's pads.
"That was a bad one to give up after we'd battled back," Storr said. "I came out to take on the shooter (Forsberg) and lost my balance coming back to the net."
Sakic completed the hat trick with a power-play goal at 18:05.
"Joe is just a world class player and a world class guy," Murray said. "When he's not scoring, he does so many other good things that go unrecognized."
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