Denver, CO (Sports Network) – Brad Richardson notched his first career hat trick to lead Los Angeles to a 6-4 win over Colorado at Pepsi Center.
Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown and Alexei Ponikarovsky also tallied for the Kings, who got 28 stops from Jonathan Quick to win for the fourth time in their last five games.
Milan Hejduk and Paul Stastny each recorded two goals and an assist for the Avalanche, who lost for a third time in four games.
Craig Anderson allowed all six goals on 30 shots to take the loss.
After Wayne Simmonds went off for a five minute major for butt-ending at 8:40, the Avs took advantage and scored to tie the game at four with two minutes left on the power play when Hejduk took a cross-ice feed from Stastny and one- timed it past Quick.
“I know Simmonds, sometimes he just gets caught up in the game,” said Colorado winger T.J. Galiardi, who was the victim of the butt end and did not return to the game. “We got the goal on the power play but we still gave it up at the end.”
However, the Kings responded quickly when Anderson came out of his net up the right side of the ice to try to clear the puck out of the zone. Jarret Stoll kept it in and found Richardson in the high slot and he fired a shot past a Colorado defender into the vacated net with just under seven minutes to go.
“Any time we shoot it down the ice, we’ve got to put the pressure on the net,” Richardson said. “Stoll made a great pass to set it up.”
LA added an insurance goal with 2:55 to play on a wrist shot from the left circle by Richardson, who intercepted a clearing pass.
Simmonds passed from behind the net to the left circle from where Michal Handzus fired a shot that was turned away by Anderson but Ponikarovsky was there in the slot to backhand the rebound home to give the Kings a 1-0 lead just 72 seconds into the game.
Hejduk’s backhand goal evened the score at 9:17 before Kopitar’s power-play tally from the left doorstep on a cross-ice feed from Andrei Loktionov made it 2-1 Los Angeles.
Stastny’s wrister from the side angle left of the net got the game knotted at two with just under five minutes to play in the opening period.
Richardson’s wrist shot five minutes into the middle session put the visitors ahead in the back and forth game. Brown’s top shelf wrister with the man advantage gave the visitors a two-goal edge with 2:45 left in the period.
Stastny picked up a loose puck in the slot and fluttered a wrist shot past to trim the lead to one with 1:50 remaining in the stanza.
Quick is a perfect 4-0-0 in five games against Colorado…Anderson is 1-4-3 in nine meetings with the Kings…Colorado defenseman Scott Hannan also left the game with head injury and did not return…John-Micahel Liles of the Avalanche tied an NHL record for defenseman, set by Filip Kuba of Ottawa two seasons ago, with an assist in his eighth straight game.