The Colorado Avalanche fell to the Los Angeles Kings by a score of 6-4 on Saturday at the Pepsi Center. The match featured the NHL’s two youngest teams.
One of the bright spots was Lost Angeles forward Brad Richardson. He scored his first career hat trick against his former team, getting his third goal during the final few minutes of the third period.
“It does feel good to get it against your old team, for sure,” he said.
Colorado goaltender Craig Anderson seemed to be off his game making mistakes that are not usually associated with his name. Anderson’s biggest mistake gave Richardson his second goal.
It came shortly after Avalanche forward Milan Hejduk tied the game at four. Los Angeles was still shorthanded due to a five-minute major assessed to Wayne Simmonds for butt-ending TJ Galiardi and Anderson left the crease to make a play on the puck. Instead of being cleared out of the zone, the puck ended up in the hands of Jarret Stoll who was able to feed to puck to Richardson for an easy score.
Anderson was disappointed with some of his decisions and took full responsibility.
“I tried to make a big play and get it past their two fore-checkers and it cost us the game,” he said.
Head Coach Joe Sacco still felt that Anderson has performed well for the team.
“Craig’s been outstanding for us,” said the Avs coach. “I’m sure there were a few that he would like to have back tonight. Unfortunately, we got a bad break on their short-handed goal. It took a little bit of the wind out of our sails. Those are some of the breaks you get.”
Sacco also felt like the team was performing well in the offensive zone, but still needed to improve on the other end of the ice.
“We fought back to get ourselves into the game again being down two goals,” he added. “I thought that our energy level was good tonight. We had too many breakdowns in our own end. We need to be a little bit more difficult to play against in our own end.”
John-Michael Liles continued his assist streak tonight, bringing the tally up to eight consecutive games in which he has had one. His streak ties Filip Kuba’s who also had an assist in the first eight games to start a season.
The milestone was bittersweet for the defenseman, however.
“The assist streak is nice, but we just can’t give up points at home like this,” said Liles. “Especially fighting back and battling back to tie the game. To give up a short-handed goal is unacceptable.”
Paul Stastny and Milan Hejduk each scored twice. Both tallied a goal on the power play as well as during even strength.
The Avs lost another veteran defenseman when Scott Hannan suffered a head injury during the second period. He joins Adam Foote and forward Peter Mueller.
The team leaves on a two game roadtrip before returning on October 30 to host the Columbus Blue Jackets.