His go-ahead goal did just fine for the Los Angeles Kings.
Conroy scored with 6:12 remaining and Michael Cammalleri added two goals, leading the Kings to a come-from-behind 5-4 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night.
“You want an opportunity to get that one back,” Conroy said. “It was a holding call where I had two hands on my stick. I don’t know how I could hold a guy with both hands on my stick, so it was frustrating. I’m was just sitting in the penalty box, praying that we could kill the penalty – but they scored with 12 seconds left on it.
“At that point, I felt like I let the team down.”
Conroy poked a rebound past Jose Theodore from the edge of the crease, capping a gut-check victory. They outshot Colorado 38-30 after recording a season-low 21 shots in Thursday’s 4-1 loss against Nashville – which was followed by a players-only meeting.
“The Anaheim game was maybe our best win, but this might have been the grittiest one,” Conroy said. “Hopefully, all those meetings we have are sinking in.
“This was a huge win for us.”
Los Angeles rallied twice from one-goal deficits after defenceman John-Michael Liles’ goal put Colorado ahead 3-2. Cammalleri got his 12th of the season during a power play.
Pierre Turgeon regained the lead for the Avalanche with a long wrist shot after a turnover by Kings captain Mattias Norstrom, but Scott Thornton tied it 4-4 with 9:38 left.
“It was our commitment to sticking with what’s going to work for us,” Cammalleri said. “We’ve got to realize what it is that makes us successful – and that’s working hard, supporting each other and making good strong plays. We were able to do that tonight, regardless of the score.”
Tom Kostopoulos also scored for Los Angeles and Derek Armstrong had two assists for the Kings, who were 0-13 when trailing after two periods.
Colorado captain Joe Sakic scored a power-play goal and set up another goal with the man advantage by Liles – the one that followed Conroy’s penalty. Antti Laaksonen also scored for the Avalanche.
Turgeon played in his second game after missing the first 27 following off-season shoulder surgery. His 512 career goal tied Gilbert Perreault for 30th on the NHL list.
Liles left the game temporarily at 13:30 of the second period after Brian Willsie’s wrist shot hit him in the face. Just 34 seconds later, the Kings tied it 2-2 on a wrist shot by Cammalleri.
“We didn’t play 60 minutes like we wanted to,” Avalanche centre Ian Laperriere said. “You can’t go on the road and just expect to win, even if you’ve got a 2-0 lead. We had a good start, but then we kind of shut it down and they took it to us in the second and the third periods.”
But Liles returned and gave the Avalanche a 3-2 lead with a one-timer from the slot that beat Dan Cloutier through a screen. The power-play goal was the seventh by Colorado in three games with the Kings this season.
Laaksonen opened the scoring 3:25 in with a short wrist shot for his second goal of the season. The Avalanche, who scored three power-play goals against the Kings in a 6-1 victory on Oct. 23, made it 2-0 about 3 1/2 minutes later on Sakic’s goal during a scramble. The Avalanche were 1-for-15 with the man advantage the previous three games.
Kostopoulos got the Kings on the board at 4:27 of the second with his fourth goal and first since Nov. 1.
Sean Avery and Colorado forward Ian Laperriere, teammates for parts of two seasons in Los Angeles, got into a fight at 9:52 of the first period. Avery got an automatic game misconduct for not having his jersey securely fastened to his pants.
Notes: Kings coach Marc Crawford guided the Avalanche to a Stanley Cup title in 1996. Sakic is the only player left with the team. … Colorado D Karlis Skrastins played in his 500th NHL regular-season game, including 462 straight – the second-longest streak by a defenceman in NHL history. … Sakic’s 1,520 career points are the most among active players, and the fifth-highest total in history by a player with one team.