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Demitra nets hat trick, game-winner as Kings top Avs

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Pavol Demitra showed the Colorado Avalanche
why he leads the NHL's Western Conference in points -- not that they
needed another reminder.

Demitra scored the go-ahead goal on a power play with 3:32
remaining to complete his fourth career hat trick, leading the Los
Angeles Kings to a 4-3 victory Saturday night. Demitra has 10 goals
and 23 points in 26 career regular-season games against the
Avalanche, including two goals in a come-from-behind 5-4 victory at
Colorado on Oct. 19.

Pierre Turgeon scored twice for Colorado and set up a power-play
goal by Alex Tanguay. But Turgeon received a penalty for elbowing
Lubomir Visnovsky and it led to the winning goal -- bringing a
cascade of souvenir hats onto the ice.

"I asked for a couple, and I never got one," Demitra said.
"But I think they gave them to charity, and that's a great thing
to do."

Demitra got the puck from Michael Cammalleri in the left circle
and took a shot that hit the leg of a Colorado player. But it
bounced back to Demitra, who whipped a 15-footer past goalie David
Aebischer's stick from the slot for his 11th goal and 29th point in
21 games.

"We needed a save there," Colorado coach Joel Quenneville
said.

It was Demitra's first hat trick for the Kings and it followed a
seven-game goal drought for the three-time All-Star, who signed a
three-year, $13.5 million contract with them in August after
seven-plus seasons with the St. Louis Blues.

Sean Avery also scored for the Kings and Mathieu Garon made 34
saves.

Demitra put the Kings ahead 3-2 with 14:48 left in the third
period, a second after the Avalanche finished killing a
cross-checking penalty against rookie Marek Svatos. Demitra
attempted a pass for Craig Conroy that deflected off the skate of
Colorado defenseman Patrice Brisebois and went between Aebischer's
pads. Turgeon got the equalizer with 10:13 left in regulation, his
seventh goal this season.

"The last two periods they were really coming strong at us, but
we managed to stay focused," Garon said.

Turgeon tied it at 2 at 15:19 of the second period, jumping on a
loose puck and scoring into a wide-open net after Karlis Skrastins'
cross-ice pass in front of the crease struck teammate Andrew
Brunette in the back.

Los Angeles was killing a hooking penalty to Avery when Kings
defenseman Tim Gleason broke up a pass in the Colorado zone and
sent Demitra on a breakaway while falling forward. Demitra put a
couple of moves on Aebischer before sliding the puck between the
goalie's pads at 12:12 of the first period for his sixth career
short-handed goal.

Avery put Los Angeles ahead 2-1, backhanding his own rebound
past Aebischer's glove jut 51 seconds before the first
intermission. Aebischer, making his first start in three games
after surrendering eight goals on 30 shots during his previous two
starts, was still upset about the late goal at the end of the
period and slammed his stick against the boards as the teams headed
for the dressing room.

"Not much to say. In the end, it doesn't matter how you win or
lose the game. It's if you win or lose," Aebischer said. "I know
I can play better."

Colorado forward Ian Laperriere, who scored 61 goals in
eight-plus seasons with Los Angeles and was a crowd favorite
because of his pugilistic exploits, played his first game at
Staples Center since leaving the Kings for free agency in July. He
was welcomed back with a video tribute on the scoreboard during the
first period.

"It was special. It was a classy move by the Kings,"
Laperriere said. "They didn't have to do that, but they did.
They've been booing Rob Blake for the last five years, so I didn't
know what to expect."

Game notes
Turgeon, who has 503 career goals, was the first overall
selection in the 1987 entry draft. The only No. 1 overall picks who
have scored more goals than Turgeon since the draft was established
in 1963 are Mario Lemieux (683), Guy Lafleur (560), Dale Hawerchuk
(518) and Gilbert Perreault (512). ... Demitra and Turgeon were
teammates with St. Louis for four full seasons. ... Four different
players have had hat tricks for the Kings this season, including
Visnovsky, Craig Conroy and Alexander Frolov. ... Kings captain
Mattias Norstrom, who came to the Kings with Laperriere in a trade
that sent Jari Kurri and Marty McSorley to the New York Rangers in
March 1996, is two games away from tying Rob Blake's franchise
record of 662 games played by a defenseman. Blake was traded by the
Kings to Colorado in February 2001.