DENVER (AP) -- Pavol Demitra has always had success against
Colorado, even when the Avalanche weren't having goalie problems
like they are now.
Demitra scored two goals and the Los Angeles Kings took
advantage of poor goaltending to beat the Avalanche 5-3 on
"I'll take teams like that with goalies like that any day,"
Demitra said. "It helps to win a game."
Demitra has 12 goals and 17 assists in 26 career games against
the Avalanche. He padded his totals against the weak duo of Peter
Budaj and David Aebischer.
"Pavol was quietly efficient," Kings coach Andy Murray said.
"He had a quiet night with some points."
Michael Cammalleri and Lubomir Visnovsky added goals to help the
Kings win for the sixth time in seven games. Tom Kostopoulos also
scored for Los Angeles, which has won all three meetings with
Colorado this season.
Mathieu Garon stopped 32 shots for his 16th win, outdueling both
"I thought we played hard and got ourselves back in the game,"
Colorado coach Joel Quenneville said. "We stayed with it to the
But it was another game -- the second straight -- in which he was
forced to pull an underachieving goalie.
Budaj was yanked 11 minutes in after surrendering two goals on
four shots. Aebischer gave up three goals in 20 shots.
"(Pulling a goalie) is something you don't like doing,"
Quenneville said. "In the last game it worked, and tonight, it
Cammalleri, Visnovsky and Demitra scored in the first period to
give the Kings a 3-1 lead. Budaj let Cammalleri's shot get between
his skate and the left post at 8:30 for his seventh goal in nine
Visnovsky scored from the slot on a give-and-go with Derek
Armstrong at 11:05, 15 seconds into a power play. Budaj was
immediately replaced by Aebischer, the second time in two games the
Avalanche made a change in the first period.
McLean got the Avalanche back to 2-1 at 18:59 on a rebound shot
after Garon stopped Hejduk on a 2-on-1 break. Los Angeles regained
a two-goal edge when Aebischer whiffed on Demitra's shot from just
beyond the blue line with 21 seconds left in the period.
"It was a great goal," Demitra said sarcastically. "I tried
to hit the puck as hard as I can. It was a knuckler that kept
"It was the biggest goal of the night," Murray said. "It came
right after they had cut the lead and put them back on their
Hejduk scored off a rebound of Rob Blake's shot with Colorado on
the power play at 8:03 of the second period. Demitra countered with
his second goal at 13:03 on a shot that caromed off the right post
into the net to give Los Angeles a 4-2 lead heading into the third
Kostopoulos made it 5-2 when he got free for a one-timer at 8:21
of the third period. Hejduk got his second of the game at 12:38.<
^Notes@: The Avalanche sent G Vitaly Kolesnik to Lowell of the AHL.
... D Aaron Miller was a scratch for the Kings because of a sore
lower back. ... Aebischer was booed as he left the ice during the