NHL Game Summary - Anaheim at Colorado
(Tuesday, March 28th)
Final Score: Colorado 4, Anaheim 3
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Andrew Brunette scored twice in the third period to lead the Colorado Avalanche to a 4-3 victory over the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim at Pepsi Center.
Brett McLean and Brett Clark also scored for the Avalanche, who have won three of their last five games and earned at least a point for the fifth consecutive contest (3-0-2). Peter Budaj made 28 saves for Colorado, which moved into sole possession of first place in the Northwest Division over Calgary and currently holds the third seed in the Western Conference playoff race.
Sean O'Donnell, Teemu Selanne and Ryan Getzlaf scored for the Mighty Ducks, who saw their six-game winning streak halted. Jean-Sebastian Giguere allowed four goals on 35 shots in the losing effort. Anaheim, which is sixth in the West, had earned at least a point in 11 of its last 12 games entering the contest.
With the contest tied at 3-3 late in the third period, the Avs took the lead for good on Brunette's second goal of the stanza. A slap shot from the left point by Clark was never spotted by Giguere, who was run over by Brunette as the puck came toward the net. It was questionable whether a goaltender interference call should have been made, but the disc touched Brunette's body on the way into the cage and he was credited with his 21st goal at 13:57.
"My focus was taken away from Brunette and I just couldn't stop him," said Anaheim's Todd Marchant.
The visitors received a power play inside the final four minutes of regulation, but Budaj and the Colorado defense kept the puck out of the net the rest of the way.
"They had some good chances, but we stopped them," Brunette said. "It was a fun game to play."
The teams traded goals in the first period.
After O'Donnell's goal 7:18 into the opening period, McLean knotted the contest with his ninth goal at the 15:39 mark. Rob Blake looked up from his own blue line along the right half-wall and sent a perfect pass across the neutral zone for McLean, who was stationed at the other blue line along the left boards. McLean hustled in on a partial breakaway and beat Giguere.
The Avalanche grabbed a 2-1 lead before two minutes had elapsed in the second stanza. Joe Sakic held control along the right half-wall and sent a cross-ice pass down low to Brunette, who took the disc down the left-wing side before feeding in front for a one-timer by Clark at 1:48.
Selanne's 34th goal of the campaign again tied things up at the 4:15 mark of the final session, but Brunette gave the Avs a 3-2 edge with 12:19 to go in regulation. Milan Hejduk sent a perfect pass over the stick of Francois Beauchemin and Brunette finished the 2-on-1 with a one-timer from the low slot that easily beat a sprawled out Giguere.
The lead was short-lived, as Getzlaf responded 33 seconds later with a redirection in front after a point shot by Chris Kunitz.
"It was a downer when they came back to score right after we did," said Brunette.
Brunette now has eight points in his last five games...All seven goals were scored at even strength...Sakic finished with three assists...The Avs were scoreless on three power-play chances and the Ducks failed to cash in on five opportunities with the extra skater...Attendance was 18,007.
03/29 00:18:58 ET