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Game Recap

Los Angeles Kings 5, Colorado Avalanche 4 FINAL

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 2:49 AM

Associated Press

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Los Angeles Kings 5, Colorado Avalanche 4 FINAL
Los Angeles Kings 5, Colorado Avalanche 4

DENVER (AP) - Craig Conroy was surprised to find himself with the puck on his stick, in position to score the easy goal that gave the Los Angeles Kings a come-from-behind victory.

Apparently, he hadn't seen much of the Colorado Avalanche lately.

Conroy's flip past David Aebischer with 58 seconds left Wednesday night gave the Kings a 5-4 win, and marked the second time in a week that Aebischer and the Avalanche blew a three-goal lead at home.

``You should win those games,'' Aebischer said. ``Right now we are a little short. We've lost games weirdly.''

Down 4-1 midway through the second period, the Kings kept plugging away, knowing that under the NHL's new, high-scoring rules, no deficit is too big to overcome.

Still, it was hard to credit this one merely to a bunch of new rules. Instead, Aebischer and Colorado's inattentive defense played a big role.

Never were they worse than at the end.

Conroy's game-winner - his first goal of the season - came after Aebischer went behind the net and stopped the puck for defenseman Rob Blake.

Blake arrived late, mishandled the puck and instead of clearing it and getting ready for overtime, Kings forward Alexander Frolov got there and rifled a pass in front of the net to Conroy, who put it by Aebischer from point-blank range.

Conroy said at first he didn't even plan on going to the goal because he didn't think there would be a scoring chance.

``I noticed, all of a sudden, Frolov was in there first,'' Conroy said. ``He saw me open in the slot and made a nice pass. I think Aebischer would probably like to have that one back.''

Less than a minute later, after the Avs pulled Aebischer and couldn't convert on their desperate 6-on-5 opportunities, the Kings mobbed goalie Mathieu Garon (17 saves) to celebrate their fifth win in six games. And the 443rd consecutive sellout at Pepsi Center let loose with boos.

The Avalanche finished 1-2-1 on their homestand, including a 5-4 loss to Nashville last Thursday after leading 3-0 early.

In that loss, Aebischer was guilty of a critical penalty that led to the winning power-play goal for the Predators. On this night, he was simply guilty of bad goaltending and victimized by his team's sloppy play.

The Kings tied it with 24 seconds left in the second. The goal came after the Avalanche turned it over in their own zone - a common sight during this homestand - and Eric Belanger collected the puck in the corner, lasered a pass across the crease to Sean Avery, who squeezed the puck between Aebischer's skate and the pipe.

``Goals four and five were unacceptable,'' Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville said. ``You don't give up goals in the last minute of the period. And our play at the end of the game we were sloppy. Really sloppy.''

The loss ruined a two-goal night for Ian Laperriere, a free-agent acquisition for Colorado this season after spending the last decade with the Kings. He scored twice and Andrew Brunette had a goal to give the Avs a seemingly comfortable 3-1 lead after the first period.

Joe Sakic scored his third goal of the season at the 6:35 mark of the second to push the lead to three. But then the Kings began their comeback.

``We have a team with a strong work ethic,'' Kings coach Andy Murray said. ``We weren't going to sit back no matter what the score was. We had to force the issue.''

This marked the first regular-season game on the ice for Avalanche defenseman Brad May, who took a vicious shot on Mattias Norstrom in the second period, charging him into the boards.

May is the former Vancouver player who infamously called for a bounty to be put on the head of Avs forward Steve Moore before a game in 2003. Todd Bertuzzi broke Moore's neck. May's offseason signing with the Avalanche was not greeted warmly by fans. They booed him every time he touched the puck early, but cheered him after the hit, which only drew a two-minute, unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty.

``The hit on Norstrom was terrible,'' Belanger said. ``That was a hit from behind and May should be suspended for that. They really (messed) that up.''

Notes: The Avalanche played without Fs Dan Hinote (back spasms) and Milan Hejduk (knee). Hejduk has missed all seven games, but is expected to return soon. ... With his goal, Avery extended his scoring streak to four games.

scoring summary
1st Period
Ian Laperriere (1) ASST: Alex Tanguay (5), Karlis Skrastins (2)
1 - 0 COL
SHG - Pavol Demitra (3) ASST: Craig Conroy (2), Tim Gleason (5)
1 - 1 Tie
PPG - Andrew Brunette (1) ASST: Rob Blake (4), Alex Tanguay (6)
2 - 1 COL
Ian Laperriere (2) ASST: Alex Tanguay (7), Patrice Brisebois (1)
3 - 1 COL
2nd Period
PPG - Joe Sakic (3) ASST: Marek Svatos (2), Wojtek Wolski (3)
4 - 1 COL
Pavol Demitra (4) ASST: Dustin Brown (2), Craig Conroy (3)
4 - 2 COL
Lubomir Visnovsky (1) ASST: Craig Conroy (4)
4 - 3 COL
Sean Avery (3) ASST: Eric Belanger (2), Tom Kostopoulos (2)
4 - 4 Tie
3rd Period
Craig Conroy (1) ASST: Alex Frolov (2), Mike Weaver (1)
5 - 4 LAK
penalty summary
1st Period
Robert Boughner  Fighting (maj) against  George Parros
George Parros  Fighting (maj) against  Robert Boughner
Brett McLean  Hooking against  Michael Cammalleri
Jeremy Roenick  Hooking
2nd Period
Sean Avery  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
Tom Kostopoulos  Charging against  Brad May
Brad May  Unsportsmanlike conduct
Patrice Brisebois  Interference against  Sean Avery
3rd Period
Pierre Turgeon  Tripping against  Michael Cammalleri
Rob Blake  Holding against  Sean Avery
Sean Avery  Diving
goalie stats
Mathieu Garon
Mathieu Garon
SA: 21TOI: 59:58
Saves: 17EV: 15 - 17
PIM: 0PP: 0 - 2
SV%: .810SH: 2 - 2
David Aebischer
David Aebischer
SA: 30TOI: 59:12
Saves: 25EV: 24 - 28
PIM: 0PP: 1 - 1
SV%: .833SH: 0 - 1 is the official Web site of the Colorado Avalanche. Colorado Avalanche and are trademarks of Colorado Avalanche, LLC. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Colorado Avalanche Hockey Team, Inc. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.