NHL Game Summary - Colorado at Florida
(Wednesday, January 21st)
Final Score: Colorado 6, Florida 5
Sunrise, FL (Sports Network) - Alex Tanguay completed a hat trick with the winning goal late in the third period, as the Colorado Avalanche rallied from a three-goal deficit to skate past the Florida Panthers 6-5 at Office Depot Center.
Milan Hejduk, Joe Sakic and Andrei Nikolishin each added goals for the Avalanche, who are 10-1-0-1 in their last 12 games. Philippe Sauve stopped 24 shots in the victory, as Colorado won its seventh straight in Florida.
Roberto Luongo made 23 saves for the Panthers, who are 1-3-1-1 in their last six contests. Stephen Weiss, Juraj Kolnik, Pavel Trnka, Valeri Bure and Marcus Nilson each scored for Florida.
Tanguay's final tally of the night, with 5:41 remaining, gave the Avalanche the lead for good in a back and forth contest. Tanguay redirected a John- Michael Liles blast from the blue line just under a sprawling Luongo for the difference maker.
The wild contest saw Florida take a 3-0 lead, only to watch Colorado score the next three goals. The Panthers went back in front, but the Avalanche then scored twice to open a 5-4 lead.
"We sure could have made it easier on ourselves by starting off better," Tanguay said. "We were lucky we were just down 3-0 because it could have been worse. We came out flat."
Tanguay's second tally of the night, a wrister from the right side of the slot, gave the Avalanche a short-lived 5-4 edge at 6:33 of the third. Martin Skoula fed Tanguay near the left circle, and Tanguay skated across ice with puck and let one loose.
Nilson tied it just 1:15 later, scoring on the rebound of a blast from Lyle Odelein. Nilson used his strength to wedge himself in the slot, where he poked several times at the puck before finally slipping it under Sauve.
Florida held a three-goal lead heading into the second stanza before the Avalanche erupted for three goals to tie it.
Hejduk skated from the left circle across the ice and wristed a low shot from the slot that beat Luongo glove-side at the 5:04 mark of the stanza to make it 3-1.
"Even when we were 3-0 down, we were not out," Hejduk said. We can score some goals.
Sakic then made it a 3-2 contest after his power-play slapper beat Luongo stick-side at 9:07 of the second. Just 19 seconds later, Tanguay tied it with a high shot that beat Luongo top shelf from inside the right circle.
Florida then jumped ahead 4-3 with just under eight minutes left in the second on Bure's power-play score. Weiss slipped a cross-ice pass to Bure, who was camped out just inside the left circle. Bure caught Sauve out of position and wristed a one-timer that beat the netminder stick-side at the 12:19 mark.
Colorado got the equalizer once again, this time off the stick Nikolishin, less than two minutes later. Nikolishin, who followed up his own shot from the slot, stuffed home the rebound under Luongo's pad to make it a 4-4 affair.
Florida struck first when Weiss lit the lamp just 1:49 into the contest. Kolnik slipped a cross-ice pass to Bure, who blasted a high shot that Sauve was unable to stop cleanly. The puck rebounded off the netminder's pad and Weiss wristed a shot that beat Sauve stick-side for a 1-0 lead.
Kolnik staked the Panthers to a 2-0 edge after he followed up a shot by Weiss and one-timed the rebound past Sauve at the 11:10 mark of the period. Weiss skated down the right side of the ice and ripped a shot from the right circle that deflected off Sauve's leg pad. Kolnik stuffed home the puck for the two- goal edge.
The Panthers took a commanding 3-0 lead after Trnka tallied his third goal of season with just 1:20 remaining in the stanza. Bure sent a centering pass from the left circle for Trnka, who muscled his way toward the crease and pushed the puck under Sauve's glove for the power-play goal.
Colorado's Peter Worrell got into a fight with ex-teammate Darcy Hordichuk early in the first stanza...Florida outshot the Avalanche 16-5 in the opening period...This was the only meeting of the year between the clubs, who met in the 1996 Stanley Cup Finals...The Avalanche scored four goals in a period for the first time this season...Florida's Mike Van Ryn left the game in the first period after he took a stick to the face. He did not return.
01/21 23:58:06 ET