<
>

Forsberg scores twice as Colorado stops Kings

10/18/2002

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Peter Forsberg has a lot to make up for.

After missing the last regular season because of injuries,
Forsberg led postseason scorers with 27 points in 20 games. That
performance gave him a nice running start into this season.

Forsberg had two goals and an assist, and Adam Foote scored the
go-ahead goal in the third period as the Colorado Avalanche beat
the Los Angeles Kings 4-1 Thursday night.

''You always need someone who can break a team's back or change
the flow of a game, and that's what he does,'' Foote said. ''When
he's on, he can definitely win you hockey games. We have that one-two punch with Joe Sakic, and if one guy's struggling and the other
team is shutting him down, the other guy might get some more
room.''

Patrick Roy made 26 saves, and Sakic scored into an empty net in
the final minute, helping end the Kings' season-opening three-game
winning streak -- one game shy of the club record. Eric Belanger
scored a short-handed goal for Los Angeles.

''We worked for 60 minutes,'' Colorado left wing Brad Larsen
said. ''We had a couple of letdowns in the game, but overall the
guys played well and Patty had another great game. We had a pretty
bad game against Boston, so we really wanted to rebound from
that.''

As Foote left the penalty box, Larsen spotted the Avalanche
defenseman sneaking behind Kings defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky and
passed the puck ahead to him. Foote got goaltender Felix Potvin to
go down and beat him to the glove side for a 2-1 lead with 13:28
remaining.

''I didn't know how much time was left on the penalty. I just
wanted to get it out of the zone,'' Larsen said. ''It just worked
out right because he was coming out of the box. I wish I could say
it was a great play, but it was lucky timing. That's all.''

Forsberg made it 3-1 with 7:32 left, taking the puck behind the
net and tucking his wraparound shot between Potvin's legs.

''There are few players who have his talent,'' Kings defenseman
Mattias Norstrom said. ''We all wish we could figure that secret.
He's in that category with the best players in the league -- the
Jagrs and the Lemieuxs and the Sakics.''

Forsberg opened the scoring with a power-play goal at 4:03 of
the first period. Entering the game, Los Angeles' penalty-killing
unit had allowed one goal in 19 short-handed situations -- and the
Avalanche had connected only once in 15 power plays.

Potvin stopped Rob Blake's slap shot from the top of the right
circle with his right leg, but the rebound caromed right to
Forsberg, who had a wide-open net to shoot at for his first
regular-season goal since March 11, 2001.

''We did a real good job of everybody going to the net and
battling,'' Sakic said. ''That's what we're going to have to do if
we're going to score goals.''

The Kings tied it at 6:49 of the second with their first
short-handed goal of the season.

Ian Laperriere carried the puck over the blue line along the
right boards and made a perfect cross-ice pass under Blake's stick
before Belanger beat Roy to the stick side for his third goal in
four games.

The Kings received a two-man advantage at 15:03 of the second
after staggered penalties to Foote for holding the stick and Blake
for tripping.

Los Angeles coach Andy Murray burned his only timeout to give
his power-play unit a few extra instructions, but the Kings
couldn't get a shot on net during the 55 seconds in which they
skated five-on-three.

Game notes
The Avalanche eliminated the Kings from the playoffs in
each of the past two seasons -- both times in a deciding seventh
game at Colorado. ... Kings right wing Ziggy Palffy missed his second game
because of a groin strain, and center Bryan Smolinski sat out the last
two periods after sustaining a charley horse on his fourth shift.
... Roy's next two appearances will tie Hall of Famer Terry
Sawchuk's record of 971 games by an NHL goalie.