LOS ANGELES (AP) - Drew Doughty scored on a fierce slap shot with 1:20 left in overtime and the Los Angeles Kings recovered from T.J. Galiardi's dramatic tying goal for a 4-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Monday night.
Ryan Smyth put the Kings ahead on his second goal with 10:05 left in regulation, but Galiardi tied it on a rebound goal with 10 seconds to play.
But after a blatant cross-checking penalty by Colorado defenseman Ruslan Salei, Los Angeles quickly won it on a power-play goal by Doughty, their rising star defenseman.
Wayne Simmonds also scored and Jonathan Quick made 18 saves as Los Angeles moved into a fifth-place tie with Nashville in the Western Conference at 89 points - two more than seventh-place Colorado. Anze Kopitar had two assists for the Kings, who have won two straight after losing five of seven while chasing their first postseason berth since 2002.
Chris Stewart scored and Craig Anderson stopped 19 shots for the Avalanche, which lost its third straight despite Peter Mueller's goal early in the third period and his impressive assist on Galiardi's score.
The Avalanche tied it on their final rush when Mueller threaded a pass to Paul Stastny at the blue line. The U.S. Olympian slipped right past Rob Scuderi for a shot at Quick, and Galiardi rushed in to slap home the rebound for his 13th goal and first in seven games.
But Salei went to the penalty box with 1:39 left in overtime, and Doughty's hard shot appeared to tip off a Colorado player's stick before flying past Anderson.
Both teams are in a key stretch for playoff position, and they'll meet two more times in the final weeks, including Wednesday night in Denver. The Kings are hoping to end their six-season playoff absence, while Colorado is hoping to secure a spot just one year after finishing last in the conference - one spot ahead of the Kings.
Eighth-place Detroit beat Pittsburgh earlier Monday to pull within two points of Colorado at the bottom of the Western Conference playoff picture. The Red Wings lead ninth-place Calgary by four points.
Colorado coach Joe Sacco reportedly held a morning meeting after his club's lackadaisical effort in Sunday night's 5-2 loss at Anaheim. Sacco then scratched two healthy veterans: defenseman John-Michael Liles, who took the penalty that led to Teemu Selanne's 600th career goal for the Ducks, and right wing Marek Svatos, who has one point in 25 games since late November.
Stewart benefited from a fortunate bounce on the Avalanche's first goal in the opening minutes. New Kings forward Fredrik Modin reached back to knock away Stewart's centering pass, and his inadvertent deflection of the puck beat Quick.
After Simmonds put the Kings ahead late in the second period, Mueller tied it early in the third with his ninth goal.
But after snapping an eight-game goal drought midway through the first period, Smyth put the Kings ahead against his former teammates with a wraparound, skating out from behind the net and slipping a stoppable shot underneath Anderson for his 22nd goal.
NOTES: LW Chris Durno cracked Colorado's lineup in Svatos' absence, while Salei played just the eighth game of his injury-plagued season. He also lost track of Simmonds when he scored the Kings' go-ahead goal early in the second period. ... Los Angeles improved to 28-0-0 when leading after two periods. ... Colorado ended the Kings' two most recent playoff runs, in 2001 and again in 2002.