NHL Game Summary - Phoenix at Colorado
(Thursday, November 6th)
Final Score: Colorado 2, Phoenix 1
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Milan Hejduk's third period power-play goal snapped a tie and lifted the Colorado Avalanche to a 2-1 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes at the Pepsi Center.
Joe Sakic scored his 512th career goal and moved into a tie for 28th place on the all-time NHL goal scoring list for Colorado, which is unbeaten in its last three games (2-0-1).
Avalanche centerman Peter Forsberg, who had missed the last three contests with a groin injury, recorded his 500th NHL assist.
Philippe Sauve earned his first victory as an NHL goaltender after he posted 27 saves for Colorado.
"We kept on working and kept to our game plan," said Sauve. "We are not going to score six or seven every night, but tonight our power play came through."
Chris Gratton scored the lone goal for the Coyotes, who remained winless in their last nine games. After starting the season with three straight victories, Phoenix is 0-6-3 since.
Despite the losing, Coyotes head coach Bob Francis is staying positive.
"The trend is going in the right direction," Francis said. "We have to keep our heads up and keep going."
Earlier Thursday, the Coyotes lost forward Mike Johnson, who was placed on injured reserve and is most likely out indefinitely because of a shoulder injury. The club's leading scorer from a season ago could require surgery and could possibly be on the shelf for two months.
With 8:32 remaining in the third period, Hejduk put the Avalanche ahead for good. After Paul Mara went off for roughing, Forsberg brought the puck behind the net and fed Hejduk, whose quick one-timer deflected off Sean Burke for his ninth goal of the season and a 2-1 Avs lead.
Burke turned aside 29 of the 31 shots he faced in the losing effort.
A failed clearing attempt by Sauve led to the Coyotes taking a 1-0 lead. The Colorado netminder tried to sweep the puck out of the zone, but partially whiffed and it did not get out.
Radoslav Suchy eventually took control and fed a nice pass from alongside the goal to Gratton, who corralled the puck in the slot and blasted a one-timer that found the back of the net at 11:32 of the second period.
Sakic's milestone goal knotted the score at one apiece with 2:27 gone in the third period. The puck came loose in front after a shot toward the net and Steve Konowalchuk passed in front to Sakic at the goal mouth. He switched to his backhand and pushed the disc over the goal line.
Sakic is now tied with Gilbert Perreault...Phoenix last went more than eight games without winning during the 1997-98 season (0-8-2)...Colorado is unbeaten in its last five games against the Coyotes (3-0-2)...Phoenix is now winless in its last six trips (0-5-1) to Denver...Colorado finished 1-for-5 on the power play, while Phoenix was scoreless on five chances with the extra skater.
11/06 23:51:17 ET