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
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
"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.
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
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
"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,
"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."
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.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: Pepsi Center Location: Denver, Colorado
Referees: Kerry Fraser, Eric Furlatt Linesmen: Jonny Murray, Jay Sharrers
Attendance: 18,007 (100.0% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Ian Laperriere (1)
Assists: Alex Tanguay, Karlis Skrastins
Pavol Demitra (3)
(Shorthanded) Assists: Craig Conroy, Tim Gleason
Andrew Brunette (1)
(Power Play) Assists: Rob Blake, Alex Tanguay
Ian Laperriere (2)
Assists: Alex Tanguay, Patrice Brisebois
Joe Sakic (3)
(Power Play) Assists: Marek Svatos, Wojtek Wolski
Pavol Demitra (4)
Assists: Dustin Brown, Craig Conroy
Lubomir Visnovsky (1)
Assist: Craig Conroy
Sean Avery (2)
Assists: Eric Belanger, Tom Kostopoulos
Craig Conroy (1)
Assists: Alexander Frolov, Mike Weaver