Demitra scored the go-ahead goal on a power play with 3:32 remaining to complete his fourth career hat trick, leading the Los Angeles Kings to a 4-3 victory Saturday night. Demitra has 10 goals and 23 points in 26 career regular-season games against the Avalanche, including two goals in a come-from-behind 5-4 victory at Colorado on Oct. 19.
Pierre Turgeon scored twice for Colorado and set up a power-play goal by Alex Tanguay. But Turgeon received a penalty for elbowing Lubomir Visnovsky and it led to the winning goal -- bringing a cascade of souvenir hats onto the ice.
"I asked for a couple, and I never got one," Demitra said. "But I think they gave them to charity, and that's a great thing to do."
Demitra got the puck from Michael Cammalleri in the left circle and took a shot that hit the leg of a Colorado player. But it bounced back to Demitra, who whipped a 15-footer past goalie David Aebischer's stick from the slot for his 11th goal and 29th point in 21 games.
"We needed a save there," Colorado coach Joel Quenneville said.
It was Demitra's first hat trick for the Kings and it followed a seven-game goal drought for the three-time All-Star, who signed a three-year, $13.5 million contract with them in August after seven-plus seasons with the St. Louis Blues.
Demitra put the Kings ahead 3-2 with 14:48 left in the third period, a second after the Avalanche finished killing a cross-checking penalty against rookie Marek Svatos. Demitra attempted a pass for Craig Conroy that deflected off the skate of Colorado defenseman Patrice Brisebois and went between Aebischer's pads. Turgeon got the equalizer with 10:13 left in regulation, his seventh goal this season.
"The last two periods they were really coming strong at us, but we managed to stay focused," Garon said.
Turgeon tied it at 2 at 15:19 of the second period, jumping on a loose puck and scoring into a wide-open net after Karlis Skrastins' cross-ice pass in front of the crease struck teammate Andrew Brunette in the back.
Los Angeles was killing a hooking penalty to Avery when Kings defenseman Tim Gleason broke up a pass in the Colorado zone and sent Demitra on a breakaway while falling forward. Demitra put a couple of moves on Aebischer before sliding the puck between the goalie's pads at 12:12 of the first period for his sixth career short-handed goal.
Avery put Los Angeles ahead 2-1, backhanding his own rebound past Aebischer's glove jut 51 seconds before the first intermission. Aebischer, making his first start in three games after surrendering eight goals on 30 shots during his previous two starts, was still upset about the late goal at the end of the period and slammed his stick against the boards as the teams headed for the dressing room.
"Not much to say. In the end, it doesn't matter how you win or lose the game. It's if you win or lose," Aebischer said. "I know I can play better."
Colorado forward Ian Laperriere, who scored 61 goals in eight-plus seasons with Los Angeles and was a crowd favorite because of his pugilistic exploits, played his first game at Staples Center since leaving the Kings for free agency in July. He was welcomed back with a video tribute on the scoreboard during the first period.
"It was special. It was a classy move by the Kings," Laperriere said. "They didn't have to Di that, but they did. They've been booing Rob Blake for the last five years, so I didn't know what to expect."
- Turgeon, who has 503 career goals, was the first overall selection in the 1987 entry draft. The only No. 1 overall picks who have scored more goals than Turgeon since the draft was established in 1963 are Mario Lemieux (683), Guy Lafleur (560), Dale Hawerchuk (518) and Gilbert Perreault (512).
- Demitra and Turgeon were teammates with St. Louis for four full seasons.
- Four different players have had hat tricks for the Kings this season, including Visnovsky, Craig Conroy and Alexander Frolov.
- Kings captain Mattias Norstrom, who came to the Kings with Laperriere in a trade that sent Jari Kurri and Marty McSorley to the New York Rangers in March 1996, is two games away from tying Rob Blake's franchise record of 662 games played by a defenseman. Blake was traded by the Kings to Colorado in February 2001.