NHL Game Summary - Florida at Colorado
(Tuesday, February 6th)
Final Score: Colorado 5, Florida 4 (OT)
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Joe Sakic scored the game-winning goal in overtime to help the Colorado Avalanche come back from a two-goal deficit and defeat the Florida Panthers, 5-4, at the Pepsi Center.
Sakic finished the game with a goal and two assists while Paul Stastny and Tyler Arnason each had a goal and an assist for the Avalanche, who had lost four of five coming into the game. Jose Theodore made 28 saves in the win.
"Obviously it was a big win for us," said Sakic. "We did not start out well, Jose kept us in it."
Avalanche defenseman Karlis Skrastins played in his 486th straight game, tying him with Tim Horton for the longest consecutive games streak by a defenseman in NHL history. He began the run on February 21, 2000, as a rookie with the Nashville Predators, who selected him with a ninth-round pick in the 1998 Entry Draft. The longest streak in NHL history is held by forward Doug Jarvis, who played in 964 games in a row from 1975-88.
Chris Gratton had a goal and two assists while Olli Jokinen added a goal and an assist for the Panthers, who have dropped three of their last four. Ed Belfour made 36 saves in the game.
"It is really tough, they are calling things really tight and we have to be a smarter team," said Gratton. "A guy like Sakic certainly will take advantage of opportunities like this. They had a little bit extra jump and we sat back in the third. Eddie made some big saves, but sooner or later if we keep giving up opportunities it will come back to haunt to us."
Colorado began the comeback when Brett Clark snapped the puck into the left corner of the net from the slot during a scramble in front to make it a 4-3 game just 2:06 into the third.
It appeared that Florida was going to escape with the win, but a pair of costly penalties by the Panthers gave Colorado a 6-on-3 opportunity after Bryan Allen was called for interference and Ville Peltonen was whistled for delay of game when he flipped the puck over the glass on a clearing attempt.
After a left circle faceoff win, Arnason flicked a backhand shot on net that Belfour made a save on, but the rebound was sitting on the doorstep and Stastny banged it in with 37 seconds left to send the game into overtime.
In the extra session the Avs were still skating on the power play and Sakic sent a pass from the slot to the Stastny at the right side. Stastny immediately fed the puck back to Sakic, who buried the puck into the left corner of the net just 25 seconds into the extra session.
"It was a great play by Paul, I got the pass and it was easy for me to put it in," said Sakic.
The Avalanche got on the scoreboard first in the game when a shot by Skrastins went off the skate of Wojtek Wolski in front of the net and past Belfour just 3:24 in.
The Panthers, though, scored twice in the opening period to take a 2-1 lead into the locker room.
Jokinen scored less than four minutes after the Avs goal to tie the game and Nathan Horton scored his 16th goal of the season with 7:18 left in the frame to give his team the lead.
Florida made it a 3-1 game at the 4:43 mark of the second when Jokinen sent a backhand pass from the right boards that Gratton redirected into the net from the low slot.
Colorado answered with a goal of its own when Arnason skated in on net on a breakaway and snapped a backhander over the glove of Belfour at 6:23.
The Panthers, though, got the goal back less than two minutes later when Gratton sent a pass from the left circle to the right side where Jozef Stumpel one-timed it into the net for a 4-2 lead.
Colorado hosts Atlanta on Thursday...Florida plays in Minnesota on Thursday...Before the game, Colorado activated defenseman John-Michael Liles from the injured reserve. He had missed the last 11 games after suffering a broken left foot in the first period of a 2-1 shootout win in Minnesota on January 6. He was placed on the injured reserve January 8...It was Gratton's first three-point game of the year...Colorado went 2-for-7 on the power play while Florida failed to score on any of its three chances.
02/07 00:04:35 ET