Avalanche bury Kings with five second-period goals

DENVER (AP) -- Milan Hejduk struggled to score goals a year ago
during an injury-plagued season. He's determined not to let that
happen again, even if it means using his head to put the puck in
the net.

"I feel comfortable," said Hejduk, who played in 74 games in
2005-06 while dealing with a variety of nagging injuries. "I have
a lot of energy with these guys and it feels great."

Hejduk had two goals, one that deflected off his jaw, and added
an assist as the Colorado Avalanche scored five second-period goals
Monday night to cruise to a 6-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.

"You're seeing what Milan can do when he's healthy," Colorado
coach Joel Quenneville. "He's skating freer and quicker."

Paul Stastny had a goal and two assists, and John-Michael Liles
and Marek Svatos each added a goal and assist. Peter Budaj stopped
27 shots for Colorado, which also got a goal from Andrew Brunette
in winning for the third time in four games.

Derek Armstrong had his first goal of the season for the Los
Angeles Kings, 1-4-2 in their last seven games. Dan Cloutier
stopped 26 of 32 shots and is 8-8-2 in his career against Colorado.

"We allowed too many chances and two many power plays to a team
that can capitalize on them," Los Angeles coach Marc Crawford.
"Probably a result of playing a second game in two nights."

The Kings had lost to Anaheim in a shootout on Sunday night.

But on Monday night it was the second period where they were
outshot 17-9 and allowed five goals that did them in.

With the score tied at 1 after one period and Los Angeles center
Craig Conroy still serving a double minor -- interference and
unsportsmanlike conduct -- Colorado capitalized, scoring twice in
the first 2:32 on a 5-on-3 advantage. Aaron Miller joined Conroy in
the penalty box to make it a two-man disadvantage for the Kings at
46 seconds of the period.

Hejduk scored from the lower left circle at 1:25. Svatos tapped
in a rebound at 2:32 to make it 3-1. After Stastny scored at 10:31,
Hejduk was credited with his second goal when Patrice Brisbois'
shot deflected off Stastny's stick and Hejduk's face past Cloutier
at 16:25.

"I've never scored a goal like that before, that would be my
first in my whole life," Hejduk said. "I guess I'll do whatever
it takes."

Brunette made it 6-1 with his third goal of the year at 18:30 of
the period.

"There was nothing I could do," Cloutier said. "[The] shots
were coming from everywhere, even off a face."

Mathieu Garon replaced Cloutier at the start of the third period
and stopped Wojtek Wolski on a breakaway. Earlier, the Kings'
Dustin Brown hit the left post behind Budaj.

Armstrong put the Kings ahead 1-0 at 5:10 of the first period.
Brent Sopel found Armstrong behind Brisbois and tapped a shot past
Budaj. Liles tied it at 1 with a slap shot from the slot at 8:47.

"I liked our response," Quenneville said. "I thought we had a
real good trip discounting the last part of the game in Montreal."

"In every game I thought we had energy and tempo, we had
pace," he said. "We had more than our share of the puck, so after
nine games we have been pleased with our play."

Game notes
One-time Avalanche defenseman Rob Blake was booed mildly
throughout the game. Blake played four-plus seasons for Colorado.
... The Kings had two double-minor penalties in the first period.
... Los Angeles is 2-1-0 in back-to-back games. ... Two assists by
Joe Sakic left him a point shy of 1,500. ... The Avalanche were
3-for-6 on the power play after going 1-for-19 on their recent
three-game road trip.