Kings Bury Avalanche


Patrick Roy hasn't been the NHL's top goaltender three times by allowing goals on consecutive shots. That's just what happened Thursday night.

Ziggy Palffy and Marko Tuomainen stunned the 15-year-veteran with goals 52 seconds apart in the first period and the Los Angeles Kings beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-2.

"When they've got Patrick in the net, any goals we get are going to be key ones," Kings goaltender Jamie Storr said. "And we wanted to make those goals work for our team. It was a strong effort all-around."

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  • Los Angeles opened the scoring at the 7:24 mark when Palffy, standing all alone at the right of the crease, swept Sean O'Donnell's pass from the left point past Roy's glove hand for his eighth goal and fifth in five games.

    "When they scored that goal, it was a sign of, `Wow, it's going to be a long night,"' Colorado defenseman Adam Foote said. "It looked like we were in the mud. That wasn't the (Avalanche) team I've been watching lately and there's no excuses for it."

    It got worse for Roy moments later when another defensive lapse by one of his teammates resulted in Tuomainen's fourth goal of the season on only his ninth shot on net.

    Defenseman Eric Messier raced Tuomainen to the puck near the Colorado goal line and overskated it before Tuomainen beat Roy to the stick side with a quick backhander along the ice.

    "Patty's hardly never off his game," Foote said. "But tonight, it jut seemed like the bounces were going their way."

    Palffy also assisted on the first goal of the season by Len Barrie and Vladimir Tsyplakov scored his first two goals of the year. It was the fifth game for Tsyplakov since he was benched for the previous six by first-year coach Andy Murray.

    "With any player, whether you're in the lineup or not, you've got to be ready and be prepared," Storr said. "And the only way to do that is to work hard. I was there with Sippy in practices, and he was working hard and keeping his mouth shut.

    "I'm happy to see him do well. He's just a solid player, and it's only going to make his value stronger in the long run because everyone knows he can play the game," Storr said.

    The Kings improved their record to 10-4-4. It is their best start since 1992-93, when they went to the Stanley Cup Finals.

    Los Angeles is six games over .500 for the first time since April 18, 1998. The victory was the Kings' first in three games since losing Jozef Stumpel and leading goal-scorer Luc Robitaille for several weeks because of injuries.

    "We're having to go through some adversity, but sometimes it makes you a better team," right wing Donald Audette said. "Everybody believes the other guy can do the job, too, and you can see the confidence we have in ourselves."

    Chris Dingman and Jon Klemm scored for the Avalanche against Storr, who played consecutive games from start to finish for the first time since Feb. 6-10. Starter Stephane Fiset is out with a bruised right hand.

    Colorado, already missing Peter Forsberg after offseason shoulder surgery, scratched center Joe Sakic before the game because of a stiff back he sustained during Monday's practice.

    Dingman made it 2-1 with 2:35 left in the opening period on the power play. He got the puck from Foote about 10 feet to the left of the net and banked a wrist shot off Storr's left leg pad for his sixth goal in 100 NHL games.

    But Tsyplakov restored the Kings' two-goal margin at 17:03 of the second period. Rob Blake one-timed a cross-ice pass from Palffy from high in the slot and Roy made the save, but Tsyplakov converted the rebound with Adam Deadmarsh still serving a tripping penalty.

    Barrie made it 4-1 less than five minutes into the third period, one-timing a cross-ice feed from Palffy from 15 feet out and beating Roy to the stick side. It was his first goal in the NHL since March 24, 1995 with Pittsburgh.

    Tsyplakov ended the scoring with 2:52 to play. He was awarded the goal by referees Don Van Massenhoven and Scott Zelkin after Roy intentionally lifted the net forward.

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