NHL Game Summary - Phoenix at Colorado
(Monday, December 26th)
Final Score: Colorado 7, Phoenix 4
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Joe Sakic had two goals and an assist to lead the Colorado Avalanche to a 7-4 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes at Pepsi Center.
Milan Hejduk had a goal and an assist and Marek Svatos had a goal for the Avalanche, who have won two of their last three games. Peter Budaj made 26 saves in relief of Vitaliy Kolesnik, who was pulled after allowing two goals on two shots.
Shane Doan had two goals and Geoff Sanderson and Zbynek Michalek scored for the Coyotes, who had a modest two-game winning streak stopped. Curtis Joseph was pulled towards the end of the first period after allowing three goals on four shots. Brian Boucher relieved him and made 22 saves.
Colorado was down 4-3 going into the final 20 minutes after coming back from a 3-0 deficit.
The Avalanche tied the game up early in the third period. Pierre Turgeon brought the puck around the net on a wraparound attempt that Boucher made a save on. However, the rebound went to Svatos, who put it past Boucher to make it a 4-4 game just 2:24 into the last session.
"It's going in right now for me," said Svatos. "I am just glad to be able to help us win hockey games. Down 3-0 we got the four-minute penalty called against us and our penalty killing did a good job tonight and we turned it around."
Colorado took its first lead of the game on a 5-on-3 power-play goal. Alex Tanguay had the puck on the right side of the net and sent a pass to Hejduk on the left side. He gathered the puck and flicked it over Boucher's right shoulder to take a 5-4 lead with 8:42 to play.
Phoenix pulled its goaltender with under a minute to play, however, shorthanded empty-net goals by Ian Laperriere and Karlis Skrastins provided the final margin of victory.
"We come out early and we get the lead," said Doan. "It's really hard to lose this. We can't let this go bad. We have to turn it around and find a way to win in San Jose."
The first period was a busy one with a total of six goals being scored.
The Coyotes had a 2-0 lead on a pair of goals by Doan. He netted his first one with a wrist shot from the left side of the net just 31 seconds into the match and he got his second goal on a wrist shot from the slot at the 3:20 mark of the opening 20 minutes.
Kolesnik was pulled after the second goal and was replaced by Budaj.
Phoenix kept pouring on the pressure and made it 3-0 a little over five minutes later. Mike Johnson made a drop pass from the top of the right circle to Michalek at the right point. He let fly with a slap shot that beat Budaj for his sixth goal of the season.
However, the Avalanche got on the board with two goals separated by 1:05. Sakic brought the puck from his zone into the Phoenix zone, skated around a defender and slid the puck past Joseph's right pad to make it a 3-1 game at the 9:35 mark. Hejduk sent a pass from the left boards to Rob Blake cutting into the slot, and he fired a one-timer that beat Joseph for a shorthanded tally to make it a one-goal game.
Sakic tied the game up with his second goal of the game. Tanguay threw a centering pass from behind the right side of the net to Sakic in front. The puck went off of his right skate and into the net with 3:35 remaining in the first.
That was it for Joseph, who was pulled from the net and replaced by Boucher.
Phoenix took a 4-3 lead in the second period on a goal by Sanderson. Fredrik Sjostrom charged into the Colorado zone and let fly with a wrist shot from the left circle. Budaj made a left pad save on the shot, however, the rebound went right to Sanderson, who fired it in with 7:28 left until the second intermission.
Phoenix concludes its three-game road trip at San Jose on Wednesday...The Avalanche will host the Kings on Wednesday...Blake's goal was his first in 10 games...Svatos has goals in his last three games...Phoenix went 0-for-8 on the power play and allowed three shorthanded goals...Colorado scored on one of its seven power plays.
12/27 00:20:06 ET