Sakic, Avs Overpower Kings

Avalanche's Joe Sakic, left, skates up ice as Kings Jere Karalahti defends.
With Peter Forsberg on his line, Joe Sakic's three-game scoring drought was a thing of the past.

Sakic recorded his 10th career hat trick as the Colorado Avalanche ended a four-game winless streak with a 5-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night.

"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."

Alex Tanguay and Dan Hinote added goals and Forsberg had three assists for the Avalanche, 1-2-2 in their last five games. Patrick Roy stopped 14 shots.

"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."

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Game Summary

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  • Bryan Smolinski and Mathieu Schneider had goals for the Kings, who lost for the third straight time and are winless in four games. Jamie Storr stopped 21 shots, but gave up two bad goals.

    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."


  • Los Angeles C Jozef Stumpel played despite a broken toe.
  • The Kings have given up 16 goals in three games.
  • Ray Bourque's first of two assists gave him 1,136 and moved him past Paul Coffey for second place on the NHL career list, trailing only Wayne Gretzky.
  • Avalanche D Adam Foote made his first appearance in 13 games after being out with a stress fracture in his heel.
  • Sakic's hat trick was the first for Avalanche this season. His last was March 23 against Phoenix.

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