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Kings Regain Sole Possession of First Place in the Pacific Division With a 4-1 Victory Over San Jose
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks did not have to be reminded about the significance of Saturday's game. The winner would regain sole possession of the Pacific Division lead.
The Kings got two power-play goals from Glen Murray in a 4-1 victory and withstood a furious second-period assault by the Sharks with the help of goalie Jamie Storr.
"I don't know what it is. We just know it's a big game," Murray said. "We get up for the games, just like they do, but we've improved a lot from last year. Maybe we can go into San Jose and steal a couple there, too."
Donald Audette scored the go-ahead goal, and Bryan Smolinski had three assists for the Kings, who have beaten the Sharks in each of their last five meetings.
"We haven't particularly played well against them," Sharks defenseman Jeff Norton said. "I don't know why, but today we came out in the first period and it looked like we were on our heels. It was a big game and we should have been more prepared."
Jeff Friesen scored a power-play goal for the Sharks, who have won only two of their last nine overall.
Playing in front of their fourth sellout crowd at Staples Center -- and the first to witness a victory -- the Kings regained the lead at 17:06 of the second period on Audette's 10th goal of the season and the second of Smolinski's three assists. The eighth-year center has had at least one assist in six straight games and a total of 13 over that span.
"We've been skating with each other since the start of the season, so we know each other's tendencies and we know where the other guy's going to be," Murray said. "I've already told Brian that he's turned into Wayne Gretzky. He's got to set up Donald and me all the time, so no more goals for him."
Smolinski helped set up the Kings' second goal by working the puck free from Norton at the red line. He then faked a shot to elude Patrick Marleau and fed Murray at the left of the crease. Murray shoveled it in front and Audette redirected it past Steve Shields for the Kings forward's third goal in 11 games.
"I'll take the responsibility on that one. I should have made a smarter decision there," Norton said.
Jamie Storr made 18 of his 33 saves in the first period and improved his record to 6-2-1 after missing the previous game with a pulled groin. Ziggy Palffy scored his 12th goal for the Kings into an empty net with one second remaining.
FIRST PERIOD - SCORING: 1, Los Angeles, Murray 8 (Smolinski, Berg), 4:37 (pp). PENALTIES: Tuomainen, LA (roughing), :23; Suter, SJ (hooking), :48; Sutton, SJ (roughing), 3:16; Norstrom, LA (cross-checking), 12:11.
SECOND PERIOD - SCORING: 2, San Jose, Friesen 12 (Stewart, Damphousse), 12:31 (pp). 3, Los Angeles, Audette 10 (Murray, Smolinski), 17:06. PENALTIES: Tuomainen, LA (holding stick), 4:16; Ragnarsson, SJ (interference), 9:23; Barrie, LA (hooking), 11:10.
THIRD PERIOD - SCORING: 4, Los Angeles, Murray 9 (Audette, Smolinski), 9:54 (pp). 5, Los Angeles, Palffy 12 (Barrie, Norstrom), 19:59 (en). PENALTIES: Friesen SJ (holding), 1:42; Galley, LA (holding stick), 2:16; Nolan, SJ (roughing), 6:47; Johnson, LA (roughing), 6:47; Sundstrom, SJ (hooking), 8:59.
POWER PLAY: San Jose 1 of 5; Los Angeles 2 of 5.
GOALIES: San Jose, Shields 9-7-2 (31 shots-28 saves). Los Angeles, Storr 6-2-1 (34-33).
Referee: Mike Leggo, Rob Shick. Linesmen: Wayne Bonney, Randy Mitton.
A: 18,118 (18,118).
DALLAS (AP) - The Los Angeles Kings are off to their best start in seven seasons, but they still can't beat the Dallas Stars.
Richard Matvichuk's rebound goal with 2:55 left in overtime extended Dallas' unbeaten string against the Kings to 19 games with a 3-2 victory over Los Angeles on Wednesday night. The victory was the 1,000th in franchise history, 758 over 26 seasons in Minnesota and 242 over seven seasons in Dallas.
Stars center Mike Modano thinks his team has so much success against the Kings because of Los Angeles' wide-open offensive style. Dallas is 13-0-6 over in its last 19 meetings with Los Angeles, and the Kings haven't beaten the Stars since April 6, 1995.
"Against them, it's up and down with a lot of open ice," said Modano, who assisted on the game-winning goal. "They've got some powerful forwards, but when the play goes the other way, it creates a lot of chances for us. It's a style you don't see that much of, and it's fun to play against."
Matvichuk moved in from his position on defense, and his first shot was stopped by Los Angeles goaltender Marcel Cousineau. Matvichuk got a break when the puck bounced off Los Angeles defenseman Rob Blake and back onto Matvichuk's stick.
"It was nothing short of a lucky bounce," said Cousineau, the backup goaltender who was getting his first start for the Kings because of injuries to Jamie Storr and Stephane Fiset. "It was a lucky goal. We played well enough to win."
Matvichuk had returned to the ice after being helped to the bench in the third period when he was checked hard into the glass by the Kings' Bryan Smolinski.
"I was just hoping to hit the net, because I knew if I didn't, the play was going the other way," said Matvichuk, who would then have been trapped deep in the Kings' zone.
Matvichuk's first goal of the season also ended Dallas five-game winless streak (0-2-2-1), the Stars' longest since 1995.
Mike Keane's shorthanded goal 1:08 after the opening faceoff gave Dallas a 1-0 lead. Len Barrie tied it at 11:45, taking advantage when Dallas goaltender Ed Belfour fell while trying to play the puck, as Barrie fired into an open net.
Jamie Langenbrunner's power play goal at 16:39 of the first period put the Stars in front 2-1. But Jason Blake tied it at 2 for the Kings at 7:31 of the second period, converting a 2-on-1 break.
FIRST PERIOD - SCORING: 1, Dallas, Keane 3 (Modano, Hatcher), 1:08 (sh). 2, Los Angeles, Barrie 2 (Palffy), 11:45. 3, Dallas, Langenbrunner 4 (Morrow, Hatcher), 16:39 (pp). PENALTIES: Sydor, Dal (interference), :21; Skrudland, Dal (roughing), 12:24; Laperriere, LA (roughing), 12:24; O'Donnell, LA (roughing), 15:06; O'Donnell, LA, minor-major (cross-checking, fighting), 17:56; Murray, Dal, Major (fighting), 17:56
SECOND PERIOD - SCORING: 4, Los Angeles, J.Blake 2 (Chartrand), 7:31. PENALTIES: Sydor, Dal (roughing), 8:26; Lukowich, Dal (cross-checking), 12:04; Johnson, LA (interference), 12:40; Hatcher, Dal (hooking), 14:49; Carbonneau, Dal, misconduct, 16:52; Barrie, LA (interference), 18:35.
THIRD PERIOD - SCORING: None. PENALTIES: Palffy, LA (tripping), 4:45; Smolinski, LA (boarding), 11:34.
OVERTIME - SCORING: 5, Dallas, Matvichuk 1 (Jackman, Modano), 2:55. PENALTIES: None.
POWER PLAY: Los Angeles 0 of 4; Dallas 1 of 6.
GOALIES: Los Angeles, Cousineau 1-1-0 (23 shots-20 saves). Dallas, Belfour 8-7-2 (23-21).
Referee: Bill McCreary. Linesmen: Mike Cvik, Don Henderson.
A: 17,001 (17,001).
DENVER (AP) - Losing a second goaltender to injury in a month didn't hurt the Los Angeles Kings. Marcel Couisneau made 20 saves after replacing Jamie Storr as the Kings beat the Colorado Avalanche 6-2 Tuesday night.
"We have had setbacks all along the way and have kept battling," said Los Angeles coach Andy Murray, who lost starting goalie Stephane Fiset with a bruised right hand Nov. 9. "Marcel was solid when Jamie got hurt and he went in there our team rallied in front of him."
The Kings picked up the tempo offensively. Vladimir Tsyplakov and Rob Blake scored 52 seconds apart in a four-goal second period. Glenn Murray and Blake scored twice for Los Angeles, which had lost two straight.
"When you come in like I did, it makes it a lot easier when you have a couple of goals to breath," Cousineau said. "I'd only known about Jamie with a couple of minutes left in the first period."
Cousineau replaced Storr, who suffered a strained right groin, at the start of the second period and played for the first time since being called up Nov. 11 from Long Beach.
"Storr is injured," Andy Murray said. "We tested him and he had 20 percent strain on his groin after the first period and we'll need to meet and discuss our options."
The Avalanche lost despite the return of Joe Sakic, who was cleared to play after the morning skatearound and scored a goal. Dave Reid added a goal for Colorado which lost its third consecutive home game.
"I felt rusty and missed a couple of chances," said Sakic, who failed to score on two first period breakaways. "Overall, I felt good, but will need some rest the next couple of days."
Tsyplakov scored his fourth goal of the year at 1:36 of the second on a perfect pass from Len Barrie. Blake scored on a shot from right point at 2:28. Reid brought the Avalanche within 3-2 at 6:16, but Blake scored on a rocket from the slot at 9:20 and Jason Blake beat Marc Denis on backhander on a feed from Rob Blake at 19:25 to give Los Angeles a three-goal lead after two periods.
Denis was not sharp in losing for the first time in three starts. Both teams had 33 shots on goal.
"We could have put them away in the first period, but lacked focus," Colorado coach Bob Hartley said. "The team as deep as the Kings are offensively, will make you pay."
FIRST PERIOD 1, Colorado, Sakic 6 (Drury, Deadmarsh), 12:08 (pp). 2, Los Angeles, Murray 6 (Audette, Smolinski), 13:35. PENALTIES: McKenna, LA, major (fighting), 2:26; Odgers, Col, major (fighting), 2:26; Galley, LA (hooking), 4:45; Drury, Col (hooking), 5:13; Klemm, Col (ob.-holding), 8:29; McKenna, LA (interference), 11:41.
SECOND PERIOD - SCORING: 3, Los Angeles, Tsyplakov 4 (Barrie, Palffy), 1:36. 4, Los Angeles, R.Blake 9 (Laperriere), 2:28. 5, Colorado, Reid 2 (Ozolinsh), 6:16. 6, Los Angeles, R.Blake 10 (Johnson, Laperriere), 9:20. 7, Los Angeles, J.Blake 1 (R.Blake, Chartran), 19:25. PENALTIES: McKenna, LA, major (fighting), 6:00; Helenius, Col, major (fighting), 6:00; Hinote, Col (charging), 12:01; Tuoaminen, LA (ob.-tripping), 14:32; Nortstrom, LA (interference), 19:56.
THIRD PERIOD - SCORING: 8, Los Angeles, Murray 7 (Smolinski), 10:50. PENALTIES: Audette, LA (slashing), 11:52; Odgers, Col (roughing), 11:52.
POWER PLAY: Los Angeles 0 of 3; Colorado 1 of 4.
GOALIES: Los Angeles, Storr (12 shots-11 saves), Cousineau 1-0-0 (0:00 second, 21-20). Colorado, Denis 2-2-1 (33-27).
Referee: Dave Jackson. Linesmen: Darren Gibbs, Mark Wheeler.
A: 18,007 (18,007).
LOS ANGELES (AP) - It's been a rough season so far for the Montreal Canadiens. Even when they win, they lose.
The Canadiens snapped a six-game road winless streak Saturday as Sergei Zholtok and Patrick Poulin scored goals less than four minutes apart in the first period to trigger a 5-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.
But the Canadiens' third win in 14 games was overshadowed by a frightening upper back injury to leading goal-scorer Brian Savage, who was wheeled off the ice on a stretcher and hospitalized after taking a thunderous check from Ian Laperriere in the second period.
"I think he's going to be OK," teammate Trevor Linden said. "I don't think it's anything too serious. He had his head down and then he saw it coming, and he got in a funny position. But it wasn't a dirty check."
Savage was injured with 15:40 left in the second. He skated into the Kings' zone, wound up for a 35-foot shot and fanned on the puck, keeping his eyes focused on the ice during his follow-through.
Laperriere readied himself for the collision and his right shoulder came up under Savage's chin, causing the Montreal player's head to snap violently backward. He lay on the ice for about nine minutes before medical personnel wheeled him off in front of concerned players from both teams -- including Laperriere, who refused to watch replays of the incident later.
"I didn't want to see that," Laperriere said. "I know it was a solid hit -- I heard the noise. I play physical, but I don't think it was a dirty check. He was coming in with his head down and I had to finish my check. If I don't do that, I'm not doing my job."
Savage, who leads the Canadiens with 12 goals, was transported to Centinela Hospital for tests and an MRI exam -- the results of which won't be available until Sunday at the earliest.
He remained hospitalized overnight, while his teammates prepared for Monday night's game down the freeway in Anaheim. By then, the Canadiens will have a better idea of his prognosis.
Dainius Zubrus scored twice, including an empty-net goal, and Martin Rucinsky also scored for the Canadiens, who won away from the Molson Centre for the first time since beating Philadelphia 5-4 on Oct. 14.
Ziggy Palffy scored twice and Marko Tuomainen also had a goal for the Kings, who lost consecutive games for the first time this season in front of their third sellout crowd in 11 games at Staples Center.
FIRST PERIOD - SCORING: 1, Montreal, Zholtok 3 (Corson, Weinrich), 7:59 (pp). 2, Montreal, Poulin 4 (Petrov, Thornton), 11:49. 3, Los Angeles, Palffy 10 (J.Blake, Galley), 14:37. PENALTIES: Barrie, LA (elbowing), 1:11; Linden, Mon (cross-checking), 3:28; Berg, LA (charging), 7:23; Guren, Mon (tripping), 15:03; Barrie, LA (tripping), 15:03; Lachance, Mon (holding), 16:03; Rivet, Mon, minor-misconduct (interference), 16:59.
SECOND PERIOD - SCORING: 4, Montreal, Zubrus 4 (Zholtok), 6:44. PENALTIES: Corson, Mon (high-sticking), 8:31; Audette, LA (interfernce), 9:43; Weinrich, Mon, double minor (high-sticking), 11:01; Corson, Mon (unsportsmanlike conduct), 18:15; O'Donnell, LA (unsportsmanlike conduct), 18:15
THIRD PERIOD - SCORING: 5, Los Angeles, Tuomainen 5 (Johnson, J.Blake), 2:07. 6, Montreal, Rusinski 7 (Linden), 3:40. 7, Los Angeles, Palffy 11 (Smolinski), 7:51. 8, Montreal, Zubrus 5 (Petrov), 19:55 (en). PENALTIES: Bartry, LA (holding), 4:49; Rivet, Mon (cross-checking), 10:08.
POWER PLAY: Montreal 1 of 6; Los Angeles 0 of 5.
GOALIES: Montreal, Theodore 1-4-0 (33 shots-30 saves). Los Angeles, Storr 5-2-1 (27-23).
Referee: Mark Faucette. Linesmen: Brad Lazarowich, Tony Sartison.
A: 18,118 (18,118).
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Keith Tkachuk's worst critic usually has been himself. Thursday night, he stopped beating himself up long enough to score his first game-winning goal of the season.
Tkachuk's recent slump has perplexed coach Bob Francis. But the All-Star left wing's clutch goal for the Phoenix Coyotes in a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings helped to lift an underlying current of tension that existed between player and coach.
"We had a good talk yesterday on the ice -- and I was relieved that he actually talked to me, so that made me feel better," Tkachuk said. "He just told me to relax and stop putting pressure on myself -- because that's what I've been doing ever since I got into the league. I strive to be the best."
Tkachuk scored from the slot with 13:53 to play. He one-timed a pass from Jeremy Roenick and beat Jamie Storr to the glove side with a 25-footer for his sixth goal on 65 shots.
"I just got into a position where Jeremy always finds me, in the high slot, and he gave me a great pass. All I had to do was wind up and put it in."
The puck originally was heading to the left point, where Phoenix defenseman Keith Carney was anticipating it. But Roenick intercepted it at the top of the circle and Tkachuk regained the lead for the Coyotes.
"I yelled at Keith Carney to get out of the way," Roenick said. "He saw me coming and he backed off. Keith and I like that play a lot. He just missed a couple of times this year on it, but he made no mistake on it tonight, that's for sure."
Mike Sullivan ended a 60-game drought with a short-handed goal against Storr, who started his fifth straight game in place of Stephane Fiset. Fiset continues to be sidelined by a bruised right hand.
"Tkachuk was in close enough and he shot it hard enough," Storr said after his record fell to 5-1-1. "He got lucky where it was placed -- just under my glove and over my pad. But he's scored 40 goals a season, and that's why."
Trevor Letowski also scored for the Coyotes, and Bob Essensa made 29 saves. Essensa was particularly brilliant in the third period, stopping all 15 shots he faced.
Aki Berg and Donald Audette scored, and Glen Murray had two assists for the Kings, who lost for only the second time in their last 12 games (8-2-2).
FIRST PERIOD - SCORING: 1, Phoenix, Sullivan 1 (Drake), 17:40 (sh). 2, Los Angeles, Berg 1 (Murray, Audette), 18:29. PENALTIES: Gill, Pho (interference), :32; Laperriere, LA (holding), 13:59; Roenick, Pho (roughing) 16:23; Norstrom, LA (hooking), 19:25; Numminen, Pho (hooking), 19:45; Tkachuk, Pho, double minor (roughing), 20:00; Barrie, LA (roughing), 20:00.
SECOND PERIOD - SCORING: 3, Los Angeles, Audette 9 (Murray, Smolinski), 3:42. 4, Phoenix, Letowski 5 (Daigneault, Sullivan), 11:24. PENALTIES: Tocchet, Pho (high-sticking), 5:21.
THIRD PERIOD - SCORING: 5, Phoenix, Tkachuk 6 (Roenick, Green), 6:07. PENALTIES: Norstrom, LA (cross-checking), 1:18; Quint, Pho (tripping), 7:08; Carney, Pho (holding), 13:33.
POWER PLAY: Phoenix 0 of 3; Los Angeles 0 of 6.
GOALIES: Phoenix, Essensa 4-0-1 (31 shots-29 saves). Los Angeles, Storr 5-1-1 (28-25).
Referees: Rob Shick, Richard Trottier. Linesmen: Brad Lazarowich, Jay Sharrers.
A: 13,406 (18,118).
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Goaltender Jamie Storr was the difference for the Los Angeles Kings -- particularly in the third period when his teammates were outshot 23-1 by the Chicago Blackhawks.
"They came hard because we weren't working hard," Kings center Bryan Smolinski said following Tuesday night's 3-2 victory -- their 10th in a row over Chicago. "Give credit to them. They threw everything they had at us in the third, but it wasn't enough."
Smolinski and Vladimir Tsyplakov scored 38 seconds apart in the first period and Donald Audette got his eighth goal in the third. Garry Galley had two assists for the Kings, who improved the NHL's best record to 12-4-4 under first-year coach Andy Murray. Los Angeles is 8-1-2 in its last 11 games. The best 11-game stretch by the Kings last season was 8-2-1, from Dec. 20-Jan. 14, but it didn't translate into a playoff berth.
"We are deserving of our position right now in the standings," Murray said. "We worked hard to get there. We won a game we didn't deserve to win, but I don't want to tear my team apart tonight."
The Blackhawks began a seven-game trip with their fourth loss in five games. They went 1-for-8 on the power play despite the return of center Alexei Zhamnov, who missed three games because of a groin injury.
"It was a situation where we put ourselves behind the 8-ball, and that's a long way to come back against a team like that," Blackhawks coach Lorne Molleken said. "We need to look deep inside ourselves and find a way to get out of this."
Storr turned aside Chicago's first 27 shots before Eric Daze converted a rebound of Michael Nylander's shot under Storr's left leg with 9:24 remaining. It was Daze's seventh goal in 15 games this season. Tony Amonte scored with 59 seconds left on a Blackhawks power play, extending his goal-scoring streak to four games. Amonte nearly tied it with 7.6 seconds left, but Storr pressed his left leg pad against the right post to preserve the victory.
"I don't think we deserved to beat that team," said Kings center Ian Laperriere, who didn't get a shot on net despite playing nearly 18 minutes. "They came here and were ready to play hard. They played harder than us, but Jamie stepped up his game."
Storr is 5-0-1 this season, but his performance hasn't surprised his teammates. Last season, he made a career-high 10 consecutive starts while Stephane Fiset was on the sidelines with an injured groin and was 7-3-0.
FIRST PERIOD - SCORING: 1, Los Angeles, Tsyplakov 3 (R.Blake, Barrie), 7:05. 2, Los Angeles, Smolinski 6 (Murray, Galley), 7:43. PENALTIES: Barrie, LA (roughing), 11:36; Chartrand, LA (high-sticking), 12:28; McCabe, Chi (tripping), 17:39.
SECOND PERIOD - SCORING: 3, Los Angeles, Audette 8 (Galley), 11:27. PENALTIES: Palffy, LA (hooking), 3:15; Los Angeles bench, served by Audette (too many men), 8:26; Manson, Chi (high-sticking), 12:03; Laperriere, LA (high sticking), 14:24; Eriksson, Chi (holding), 16:49; McCabe, Chi, minor-major (roughing, fighting), 19:51; Chartrand, LA, major (fighting), 19:51.
THIRD PERIOD - SCORING: 4, Chicago, Daze 7 (Nylander, Leroux), 10:36. 5, Chicago, Amonte 9 (Nylander, Gilmour), 19:01. PENALTIES: Murray, LA (interference), 1:32; Bylsma, LA (interference), 7:37; Norstrom, LA (hooking), 18:15; Chicago bench, served by Janssens (too many men), 19:14.
POWER PLAY: Chicago 1 of 8; Los Angeles 0 of 5.
GOALIES: Chicago, Passmore 3-4-1 (21 shots-18 saves). Los Angeles, Storr 5-0-1 (38-26).
Referee: Kerry Fraser. Linesmen: Brad Lazarowich, Jay Sharrers.
A: 12,980 (18,118).
PHOENIX (AP) - There's a reason why the Los Angeles Kings went after Ziggy Palffy, high salary and all. It should be clear to everyone now that the Kings are leading the NHL.
"No question he's valuable -- that's why we pay him $5 million a year," coach Andy Murray said after Palffy scored the winning goal in a 3-2 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Sunday night. "He's scored some timely goals for us this year."
Palffy, Rob Blake and Craig Johnson backed up a strong performance by backup goalie Jamie Storr as the Kings moved ahead of idle San Jose into first place in the Pacific Divison. The Kings, who have been to the playoffs just once in the last six seasons and finished fifth in the division last season, also are tied with Ottawa for most points in the NHL.
Blake scored a power-play goal for the Kings, and Johnson and Palffy scored on breakaways.
Storr, 4-0-1 this season, made 27 saves in his third consecutive start. He is thriving while Stephane Fiset recovers from a hand injury.
"The team is playing so well in this streak it doesn't matter who is in net," said Storr, who gave up third-period goals to Greg Adams and Rick Tocchet.
The Coyotes had rallied to win three times and tie four times in nine games previous games when they fell behind by two goals. This time, Palffy interrupted Phoenix's momentum when he swept down the left side and beat goalie Mikahil Shtalenkov with a slap shot from the circle. That made it 3-1 with 9:53 left in the game, and the Kings held on to improve to an NHL-best 7-2-2 on the road.
"It was important because we were struggling," said Palffy, who led the New York Islanders in goals and points last season. "I only had one other shot in the game, so it was important to get it. They scored against our penalty-killing, so it wasn't in the bag."
"You can't expect to win hockey games when you're down two or three goals," Coyotes captain Keith Tkachuk said.
Shtalenkov, who had given up 13 goals in his last three games, made only 15 saves as the Coyotes lost for the fourth time in five games.
"We had our chances," Tocchet said. "You know, we had 30-some shots (actually 29) and they had 18. The only thing is you can watch the shot clock and all, but it's results-oriented, and we didn't get the results."
FIRST PERIOD - SCORING: 1, Los Angeles, R.Blake 8 (Audette, Murray), 10:33 (pp). PENALTIES: Carney, Pho (tripping), 9:16; McKenna, LA (slashing), 15:50; Tkachuk, Pho (roughing), 19:43.
SECOND PERIOD - SCORING: 2, Los Angeles, Johnson 2, 15:53. PENALTIES: Barrie, LA (ob.-holding stick), 4:33; R.Blake, LA (interference), 13:47; Norstrom, LA (hooking), 19:41.
THIRD PERIOD - SCORING: 3, Phoenix, Adams 5 (Doan, Tocchet), 9:21. 4, Los Angeles, Palffy 9 (Tsyplakov), 10:07. 5, Phoenix, Tocchet 4 (Adams, Green), 13:13. PENALTIES: Letowski, Pho (ob.-hooking), 2:31; R.Blake, LA (tripping), 5:13; Laperriere, LA (hooking), 7:21.
POWER PLAY: Los Angeles 1 of 3; Phoenix 0 of 6.
GOALIES: Los Angeles, Storr 4-0-1 (29 shots-27 saves). Phoenix, Shtalenkov 7-6-2 (18-15).
Referee: Don Van Massenhoven. Linesmen: Randy Mitton, Jay Sharrers.
A: 13,171 (16,210).
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Patrick Roy hasn't been the NHL's top goaltender three times by allowing goals on consecutive shots. That's just what happened Thursday night as Ziggy Palffy and Marko Tuomainen stunned the 15-year-veteran with goals 52 seconds apart in the first period and the Los Angeles Kings beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-2.
"When they've got Patrick in the net, any goals we get are going to be key ones," Kings goaltender Jamie Storr said. "And we wanted to make those goals work for our team. It was a strong effort all-around."
Los Angeles opened the scoring at the 7:24 mark when Palffy, standing all alone at the right of the crease, swept Sean O'Donnell's pass from the left point past Roy's glove hand for his eighth goal and fifth in five games.
"When they scored that goal, it was a sign of, 'Wow, it's going to be a long night,'" Colorado defenseman Adam Foote said. "It looked like we were in the mud. That wasn't the (Avalanche) team I've been watching lately -- and there's no excuses for it."
It got worse for Roy moments later when another defensive lapse by one of his teammates resulted in Tuomainen's fourth goal of the season -- on only his ninth shot on net. Defenseman Eric Messier raced Tuomainen to the puck near the Colorado goal line and overskated it before Tuomainen beat Roy to the stick side with a quick backhander along the ice.
"Patty's hardly never off his game," Foote said. "But tonight, it just seemed like the bounces were going their way."
Palffy also assisted on the first goal of the season by Len Barrie and Vladimir Tsyplakov scored his first two goals of the year. It was the fifth game for Tsyplakov since he was benched for the previous six by first-year coach Andy Murray.
"With any player, whether you're in the lineup or not, you've got to be ready and be prepared," Storr said. "And the only way to do that is to work hard. I was there with Sippy in practices, and he was working hard and keeping his mouth shut."
The Kings improved their record to 10-4-4. It is their best start since 1992-93, when they went to the Stanley Cup Finals. Los Angeles is six games over .500 for the first time since April 18, 1998. The victory was the Kings' first in three games since losing Jozef Stumpel and leading goal-scorer Luc Robitaille for several weeks because of injuries.
Chris Dingman and Jon Klemm scored for the Avalanche. Colorado, already missing Peter Forsberg after offseason shoulder surgery, scratched center Joe Sakic before the game because of a stiff back he sustained during Monday's practice.
FIRST PERIOD - SCORING: 1, Los Angeles, Palffy 8 (O'Donnell, Smolinski), 7:24. 2, Los Angeles Tuomainen 4 (Bylsma, Berg), 8:16. 3, Colorado, Dingman 2 (Foote, Skoula), 17:25 (pp). PENALTIES: Chartrand, LA (holding stick), 15:33.
SECOND PERIOD - SCORING: 4, Los Angeles, Tsyplakov 1 (R.Blake, Palffy), 17:03 (pp). PENALTIES: R.Blake, LA (clipping), 1:37; Reid, Col (tripping), 5:13; Audette, LA (high-sticking), 6:45; Messier, Col (tripping), 9:46; Audette, LA (unsportsmanlike conduct), 10:45; Deadmarsh, Col (tripping), 16:31; R.Blake, LA (holding stick), 17:52.
THIRD PERIOD - SCORING: 5, Los Angeles, Barrie 1 (Tsyplakov, Palffy), 4:48. 6, Colorado, Klemm 3 (Miller), 6:12. 7, Los Angeles, Tsyplakov 2, 17:08. PENALTIES: Odgers, Col, major (fighting), 5:52; McKenna, LA, major (fighting), 5:52.
POWER PLAY: Colorado 1 of 4; Los Angeles 1 of 3.
GOALIES: Colorado, Roy 6-6-1 (23 shots-18 saves). Los Angeles, Storr 3-0-1 (27-25).
Referees: Don Van Massenhoven, Scott Zelkin. Linesmen: Mike Cvik, Randy Mitton.
A: 14,323 (18,118).
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Jamie Storr didn't have much time to prepare for his assignment against the Edmonton Oilers -- about eight minutes, by his estimation. The Oilers, however, gave him two periods to get settled in for the barrage that lay ahead.
After surrendering a first-period goal by Mike Grier, Storr stopped all 23 shots he faced over the final 47 minutes as the Los Angeles Kings earned a 1-1 tie on Tuesday night.
"It's an exciting feeling," Storr said. "But realistically, you've got to be prepared. And one thing I've learned over the years is that you can't slack off on game day, even if you're not supposed to play. I've been approaching it like this for a year and a half now, and it finally paid off."
Storr made his fourth start of the season in place of Stephane Fiset, who sustained a bruised right hand in the pregame warmup when he was hit by a shot under his blocking pad.
"I'm sure if Fiss was in there, we probably would have won 1-0," Storr said. "We dominated them and it was a good all-around effort."
Storr had a relatively easy time during the first two periods, facing only 10 shots.
"They're a very good team," said Bryan Smolinski, who tied the score just 25 seconds after Grier's goal. "They dominated Anaheim. They work hard and do things that a lot of the top teams don't do. And that keeps them in hockey games."
Oilers right wing Ryan Smyth was stopped on a breakaway in the first period. But the puck squirted loose in the crease and Grier banged it home to open the scoring.
"Smitty made a nice deke and I just kept going to the net in case of a rebound," Grier said. "The puck just happened to be lying there and I got a little lucky."
But Smolinski beat Tommy Salo to the stick side with a one-timer from 30 feet away after getting a pass in the slot from Donald Audette. After that, Salo stopped the final 29 shots he faced.
Edmonton, the league's only winless road team at 0-5-1, managed just one shot on net through the first 10 minutes of the second period. The Kings nearly took the lead with five minutes left in the period when Garry Galley's slap shot from 20 feet ricocheted off the right post.
"We had a lot of shots, and we had a couple of two-on-ones that we could have buried," Smolinski said. "But the power play wasn't up to par tonight, and that could have won the game for us."
FIRST PERIOD - SCORING: 1, Edmonton, Grier 3 (Smyth, Poti), 12:16. 2, Los Angeles, Smolinski 5 (Audette), 12:41. PENALTIES: Smith, Edm (roughing), 1:30; Laraque, Edm (roughing), 4:20; McKenna, LA (roughing), 4:20; Smith, Edm, major (fighting), 5:15; Laperriere, LA, minor-major-misconduct (instigator, fighting), 5:15; R.Blake, LA (high-sticking), 13:16; Laflamme, Edm (interference), 16:27; Dowd, Edm (high-sticking), 17:55.
SECOND PERIOD - SCORING: None. PENALTIES: R.Blake, LA (holding stick), 7:38; C.Johnson, LA (closing hand on puck), 9:29; Smith, Edm (roughing), 15:06; Niinimaa, Edm, minor-misconduct (interference), 18:24.
THIRD PERIOD - SCORING: None. PENALTIES: Devereaux, Edm (hooking), 4:37; Laperriere, LA, misconduct, 13:36.
OVERTIME - SCORING: None. PENALTIES: None.
POWER PLAY: Edmonton 0 of 5; Los Angeles 0 of 5.
GOALIES: Edmonton, Salo 4-4-3 (37 shots-36 saves). Los Angeles, Storr 2-0-1 (29-28).
Referees: Bill McCreary, Brian Murphy. Linesmen: Mike Cvik, Baron Parker.
A: 13,282 (18,118).
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The teams with the top two power plays met and when it was over, the Los Angeles Kings demonstrated why theirs will be suffering over the next several weeks. The Philadelphia Flyers killed off two short-handed situations in the final eight minutes and escaped with a 5-3 victory on Saturday night.
But injuries to Luc Robitaille and Jozef Stumpel have suddenly reduced the Kings' power play.
"I think our power play can still be effective," general manager Dave Taylor insisted. "Certainly we'll miss these two guys and it's not easy to replace them, but the second unit has been pretty dangerous, too."
Eric Desjardins scored the go-ahead goal early in the second period, and Mikael Andersson and John LeClair added goals for the Flyers. Desjardins and Eric Lindros each had two assists, Mark Recchi connected on a power play goal and Mark Greig also scored for the Flyers, who are 8-1-1 since starting the season 0-4-2.
"Hopefully we'll keep the confidence going because we've got everybody playing with a lot of steam out there," Flyers goaltender John Vanbiesbrouck said.
Craig Johnson, Marko Tuomainen and Ziggy Palffy scored for the Kings, whose six-game unbeaten streak ended in front of their second sellout crowd at Staples Center.
Playing their first game without Robitaille and Stumpel -- two-thirds of their top-scoring line -- Los Angeles was outshot 23-5 during the first 33 minutes of the game. Robitaille is expected to miss 2-to-6 weeks with a broken left foot. Stumpel, who went onto the injured list Saturday, is expected to undergo abdominal surgery on Monday.
The Kings were tied at 2-2 after the first period despite getting outshot 14-4. But goaltender Stephane Fiset, playing his first game since signing a three-year, $7 million contract extension on Thursday, stopped only three of the first five shots he faced in the second period.
Desjardins and Greig scored less than four minutes apart, giving the Atlantic Division-leading Flyers a 4-2 lead they would not relinquish. Desjardins got his fifth goal on a slap shot from the right point. Greig then slapped his third goal of the season through Fiset's pads from the middle of the right circle.
"They just took it to us," Johnson said. "They're strong, they're physical, they're big, and they clog up the neutral zone. They play a great neutral zone trap and we played right into their hands. They kept intercepting the pucks and dumping them in. It seemed like the play was constantly in our end for the first two periods."
FIRST PERIOD - SCORING: 1, Los Angeles, Johnson 1 (Chartrand, O'Donnell), 3:46. 2, Philadelphia, Andersson 1, 7:18 (sh). 3, Philadelphia, Recchi 7 (Desjardins, Lindros), 8:45 (pp). 4, Los Angeles, Tuomainen 3 (Palffy, R.Blake), 18:10 (pp). PENALTIES: Gagne, Phi (high-sticking), 5:57; Modry, LA (holding), 7:54; Palffy, LA (high-sticking), 13:39; Zelepukin, Phi (boarding), 17:21; Samuelsson, Phi (roughing), 18:43; Laperriere, LA (roughing), 18:43; Audette, LA, minor-misconduct (hooking), 19:16.
SECOND PERIOD - SCORING: 5, Philadelphia, Desjardins 5 (LeClair, Recchi) 1:06. 6, Philadelphia, Greig 3 (Langkow, Desjardins), 4:59. PENALTIES: Richardson, Phi (tripping), 12:53.
THIRD PERIOD - SCORING: 7, Philadelphia, LeClair 9 (Lindros), 1:15. 8, Los Angeles, Palffy 7 (Norstrom), 6:22. PENALTIES: Zelepukin, Phi, minor-major (slashing, fighting), :41; R.Blake, LA, minor-major (slashing, fighting), :41; Richardson, Phi, minor-major (cross-checking, fighting), 2:04; McKenna, LA, minor-major (cross-checking, fighting), 2:04; McGillis, Phi (tripping), 11:59; Hull, Phi (tripping), 17:38.
POWER PLAY: Philadelphia 1 of 3; Los Angeles 1 of 5.
GOALIES: Philadelphia, Vanbiesbrouck 7-5-2 (18 shots-15 saves). Los Angeles, Fiset 7-4-3 (33-28), Storr (17:38 third period, 0-0), Fiset (18:11 third period, 0-0).
Referee: Dan Marouelli, Brian Murphy. Linesmen: Brad Lazarowich, Baron Parker.
A: 18,118 (18,118).
DETROIT (AP) - Only some very friendly goal posts kept the Detroit Red Wings from losing their third straight and the Los Angeles Kings from winning their sixth straight Wednesday night. The Kings' Josef Stumpel and Brad Chartrand both banged third-period shots off the posts as Los Angeles and Detroit skated to a 1-1 tie.
The tie prevented Los Angeles from winning six straight games for the first time since an eight-game winning streak in 1991-92. But they were happy with the point after winning 5-4 Tuesday in Pittsburgh.
"We had a late night and a tough game in Pittsburgh. We didn't get to bed 'til 3 this morning," Kings coach Andy Murray said. "Everybody expected us to be tired, so we said 'let's change that. Let's look fresh, have short shifts and surprise them with our energy and enthusiasm.'"
The Kings lead the Western Conference with 21 points and are 6-2-2 on the road. Detroit is winless (0-2-1) in three games after a 7-1-1 start.
"We have to score some more goals," Red Wings center Igor Larionov said. "We should be able to control the puck more. I would say we didn't control the puck really well."
Steve Yzerman scored for Detroit on a power play in the first period. Ziggy Palffy scored the Kings' goal with just six seconds remaining in the second, his third goal in two nights. Kings goaltender Stephane Fiset made 31 saves, while Chris Osgood stopped 18 shots.
Chartrand hit the crossbar at the end of a 2-on-1 break with Glen Murray, as the Kings skated shorthanded in the final seconds of regulation.
"I just wanted to get the puck up because I knew the goaltender would be coming across. I missed by inches," Chartrand said. "Looking at it in retrospect, you have to put the puck in the net, but in my mind I was trying to do the right thing and get the puck up.
"I heard the clang and thought it got under. I'm a little disappointed it didn't go in, but you just have to come back and regroup."
Murray thought it did go in.
"I can't ask them to review it," Murray said. "It looked to me like it hit under the crossbar and came back out."
FIRST PERIOD - SCORING: 1, Detroit, Yzerman 3 (Fedorov), 14:59 (pp). PENALTIES: Bylsma, LA (hooking), 11:09; Palffy, LA (slashing), 14:42.
SECOND PERIOD - SCORING: 2, Los Angeles, Palffy 6 (Stumpel, Norstrom), 19:54. PENALTIES: Palffy, LA (tripping), 6:36; Butsayev, Det (high-sticking), 10:34; Osgood, Det, served by Kozlov (delay of game), 13:55.
THIRD PERIOD - SCORING: None. PENALTIES: R.Blake, LA (roughing), 15:43; Shanahan, Det (roughing), 15:43; Smolinski, LA (hooking), 18:33.
OVERTIME - SCORING: None. PENALTIES: None.
POWER PLAY: Los Angeles 0 of 2; Detroit 1 of 4.
GOALIES: Los Angeles, Fiset 7-3-3 (32 shots-31 saves). Detroit, Osgood 7-1-2 (19-18).
Referees: Mark Faucette, Greg Kimmerly. Linesmen: Greg Devorski, Scott Driscoll.
A: 19,983 (19,983).
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Los Angeles Kings coach Andy Murray would have enjoyed a different perspective for his team's victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
"That must have been fun to watch," Murray said. "It was back and forth, the top players from both teams were involved. It was not as enjoyable to coach."
The Kings extended their winning streak to five games by edging the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-4 Tuesday night. Donald Audette and Ziggy Palffy scored two goals apiece as Los Angeles overcame Jaromir Jagr's four-point night. The teams combined for six goals in the third period, three in the last 5:27.
"I thought we played a very good game," Jagr said. "I don't understand how we lost."
They lost because the Penguins didn't do much when Jagr wasn't on the ice. He had a hand in each goal and has now either scored or assisted on Pittsburgh's last 13 goals. Jagr scored his ninth and 10th goals and assisted on both of Robert Lang's tallies. Jagr has points in each of Pittsburgh's 10 games this season.
"There's no question there's excitement every time he's on the ice," Murray said.
The Penguins are winless in six games (0-4-2) and have yet to win a home game (0-2-2). Pittsburgh is also three games under .500 (2-5-3) for the first time in coach Kevin Constantine's three seasons.
The Penguins entered the third trailing 2-1, but tied it just 46 seconds into the period when Lang scored his second goal of the game and sixth of the season. That tie lasted just over a minute before Rob Blake blasted a 50-foot shot past Peter Skudra's blocker after Jozef Stumpel beat Lang on a faceoff at 1:52.
Vladimir Tsyplakov made a tremendous play to set up Audette's second of the game and seventh of the season at 6:07. Tsyplakov faked his way past Penguins Brad Werenka and Martin Straka to set up Audette for the easy tap-in and a 4-2 lead. Tsyplakov hadn't played much this season but is getting a chance now because forward Glen Murray is injured. Andy Murray said he made a point to single out Tsyplakov for recognition in the locker room after the game.
"That's what being a team player is all about," Murray said. "He's kept himself ready and that play? Holy smokes. I don't know who the defenseman was, but I'm sure Kevin will be talking to him tomorrow."
Pittsburgh lost forward Matthew Barnaby eight minutes into the game. Blake checked him in open ice and Barnaby hobbled off with what the Penguins reported as a strained knee.
FIRST PERIOD - SCORING: 1, Pittsburgh, Lang 5 (Jagr, Slegr), 2:48. 2, Los Angeles, Palffy 4 (R.Blake, Kaberle), 17:50 (pp). PENALTIES: Johnson, LA (unsportsmanlike conduct), :35; Jagr, Pit (holding), :35; R.Blake, LA (cross-checking), 4:22; Ference, Pit (ob.-holding), 17:22.
SECOND PERIOD - SCORING: 3, Los Angeles, Audette 6 (J.Blake, Berg), 8:49 (pp). PENALTIES: Kasparaitis, Pit (ob.-tripping), 3:05; Popovic, Pit (ob.-hooking), 8:01; Smolinski, LA (goalie interference), 18:12.
THIRD PERIOD - SCORING: 4, Pittsburgh, Lang 6 (Dome, Jagr), :46. 5, Los Angeles, R.Blake 7 (Stumpel), 1:52. 6, Los Angeles, Audette 7 (Tsyplakov, Smolinski), 6:07. 7, Pittsburgh, Jagr 9 (Lang), 14:33. 8, Los Angeles, Palffy 5, 15:07. 9, Pittsburgh, Jagr 10 (Kovalev, Lang), 17:49. PENALTIES: None
POWER PLAY: Los Angeles 2 of 3; Pittsburgh 0 of 2.
GOALIES: Los Angeles, Storr 2-0-0 (26 shots-22 saves). Pittsburgh, Skudra 2-3-3 (20-15).
Referees: Mark Faucette, Greg Kimmerly. Linesmen: Derek Amell, Brad Kovachik.
A: 14,272 (16,958).
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updated 27 December 1999