|LAK||2||2||2||(0 - 0)||6|
|COL||2||1||1||(0 - 0)||4|
DENVER (AP) - Brad Richardson had three goals, including a tiebreaking short-handed tally late in the third period, and the Los Angeles Kings beat Colorado 6-4 on Saturday night in a matchup of the two youngest teams in the NHL.
Richardson's winner was set up when Craig Anderson wandered too far out to play a loose puck as the Kings were attempting to kill a five-minute major penalty on Wayne Simmonds.
Jarret Stoll stopped Anderson's clear attempt, dishing the puck to a wide open Richardson. He later capped off his first career hat trick with a wrist shot to seal the win.
Jonathan Quick had 28 saves for the Kings.
Moments before Richardson's short-handed goal, the Avalanche tied it on Hejduk's shot after Simmonds went to the penalty box for butt-ending T.J. Galiardi.
John-Michael Liles had an assist on Hejduk's goal, giving Liles one in all eight games. That tied Liles with Filip Kuba for the NHL mark of consecutive games with an assist by a defenseman to start a season. Kuba established his record in 2008-09 with Ottawa.
Anderson was in net for a fifth straight game, stopping 24 shots. He was the backbone of the team last season, setting a franchise record with 71 starts.
These two teams have a similar look as both boast youthful lineups. The Kings have an average age of 26.1 and the Avalanche 26.4.
It was Richardson, at 25 years, 8 months, who came up big all evening.
Los Angeles took a 4-2 lead in the second period on goals by Richardson and Brown. But Stastny sliced the margin to one late in the period.
The Kings and Avalanche had a goal-filled first period, with each team scoring twice.
Ponikarovsky kicked things off, knocking in a shot down low 1:12 into the game.
Just before Ponikarovsky's goal, Anderson lost his stick and Ryan O'Reilly handed over his. The Kings took advantage of the stickless O'Reilly as Michal Handzus sent the puck to Ponikarovsky, who picked up his first goal of the season during the 500th game of his NHL career.
Hejduk's two goals and an assist gave him 344 career points at Pepsi Center, tying him with former captain Joe Sakic for the top spot since the building opened in 1999.
Colorado didn't have defenseman Adam Foote (head) Saturday and may not have him for a road trip next week. The Avalanche will re-evaluate Foote on Monday to see if the captain will accompany the team on a two-game swing through Canada.
Foote's absence forced coach Joe Sacco to shuffle his defensive pairings. Scott Hannan took Foote's spot alongside Kyle Cumiskey, but was knocked out of the game with a head injury in the second period. It was unclear how he was injured.
NOTES: L.A. activated D Matt Greene before the game after he sat out the start of the year to recover from offseason shoulder surgery. The team assigned D Jake Muzzin to the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League. ... The Avs called up D David Liffiton from Lake Erie of the AHL, but he was scratched Saturday. ... Kings D Drew Doughty was scratched with an upper-body injury. He was hurt on a neutral-zone hit by Carolina's Erik Cole on Wednesday night.
|Alexei Ponikarovsky (1) Backhand shot - ASST: Michal Handzus (3), Wayne Simmonds (2)|
1 - 0 LAK
|Milan Hejduk (3) Backhand shot - ASST: Matt Duchene (5), David Jones (2)|
1 - 1 Tie
|PPG - Anze Kopitar (2) Wrist shot - ASST: Andrei Loktionov (1), Jack Johnson (2)|
2 - 1 LAK
|PPG - Paul Stastny (3) Wrist shot - ASST: Milan Hejduk (3), Matt Duchene (6)|
2 - 2 Tie
|Brad Richardson (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Brayden Schenn (2), Willie Mitchell (3)|
3 - 2 LAK
|PPG - Dustin Brown (4) Wrist shot - ASST: Justin Williams (4)|
4 - 2 LAK
|Paul Stastny (4) Wrist shot - ASST: Chris Stewart (5)|
4 - 3 LAK
|PPG - Milan Hejduk (4) Slapshot - ASST: Paul Stastny (5), John-Michael Liles (10)|
4 - 4 Tie
|SHG - Brad Richardson (2) Slapshot - ASST: Jarret Stoll (3)|
5 - 4 LAK
|Brad Richardson (3) Wrist shot - ASST: NONE|
6 - 4 LAK
|Kyle Cumiskey Tripping against Dustin Brown|
|Justin Williams Fighting (maj) against John-Michael Liles|
|John-Michael Liles Fighting (maj) against Justin Williams|
|Andrei Loktionov Hooking against TJ Galiardi|
|Michal Handzus Hooking against Matt Duchene|
|Ryan Smyth Hi-sticking against Kyle Quincey|
|Dustin Brown Hooking against Kyle Quincey|
|Ryan Wilson Hooking against Wayne Simmonds|
|Milan Hejduk Hi stick - double minor against Ryan Smyth|
|Justin Williams Too many men/ice - bench|
|Wayne Simmonds Butt ending (maj) against TJ Galiardi|
|Wayne Simmonds Game misconduct|
|Chris Stewart Hooking against Willie Mitchell|
|SA: 32||TOI: 59:58|
|Saves: 28||EV: 18 - 20|
|PIM: 0||PP: 8 - 10|
|SV%: .875||SH: 2 - 2|
|SA: 30||TOI: 59:11|
|Saves: 24||EV: 19 - 22|
|PIM: 0||PP: 4 - 6|
|SV%: .800||SH: 1 - 2|