NHL Game Summary - Colorado at Phoenix
(Saturday, December 31st)
Final Score: Colorado 5, Phoenix 2
Glendale, AZ (Sports Network) - Ian Laperriere scored twice and Peter Budaj made 30 saves to lead Colorado to a 5-2 victory over Phoenix at Glendale Arena.
Andrew Brunette added a goal and an assist while Milan Hedjuk and Pierre Turgeon also tallied to help the Avalanche end a two-game slide.
Geoff Sanderson scored once and assisted on another for the Coyotes, who had won two straight since head coach Wayne Gretzky returned to the sidelines after briefly leaving the club to attend to his dying mother.
Curtis Joseph stopped 23 of 28 shots in the loss.
Hejduk netted the only goal of the first period, knocking in a rebound of Rob Blake's shot from near the right boards with the Avalanche on the power play 5:17 into the contest.
Laperriere made it a 2-0 lead with 8:31 to go in the second period when he one-timed a behind-the-net pass from Antti Laaksonen. However, Phoenix would answer 47 seconds later when Denis Gauthier tipped home a slap shot by Mike Johnson.
The Avalanche would put the game out of reach early in the final period by scoring twice within a span of just over two minutes.
With Colorado on a power play, Turgeon re-directed Blake's blast from the right point to extend the lead to 3-1 less than two minutes in.
Laperriere was stopped by Joseph on a wraparound try shortly afterward, but Alex Tanguay corralled the loose puck and skated behind the net before sending a backhand feed back to Laperriere, who lifted the puck past Joseph with the goaltender down low.
Sanderson's power-play tally with 6:27 remaining gave the Coyotes some life, but the momentum was killed on another Colorado goal three minutes later.
Joe Sakic took a Phoenix giveaway and skated in on an odd-man rush before dropping the puck back for Brunette, who tapped it in with 2:25 left to play to make it a three-goal advantage.
Colorado's Brad May left the game in the second period with a knee injury and did not return...Blake finished with a pair of assists and extended his point streak to six games...Phoenix's Ladislav Nagy had a five-game run with at least a point come to an end...Coyotes center Dave Scatchard was scratched due to a groin injury, while defenseman Derek Morris missed his second straight game with an ankle sprain...Colorado has won all three meetings between the clubs this season, including a 7-4 decision in Denver on Monday.
12/31 23:01:30 ET