for this game

Hejduk sparks early burst as Avalanche hold off Coyotes

Mar 30, 2007 - 6:17 AM
GLENDALE, Arizona (Ticker) -- The Colorado Avalanche continue to play their best hockey of the season, although they had to hold on for dear life against the Phoenix Coyotes.

Milan Hejduk scored a goal and set up another as the Avalanche netted the first four tallies of the game before holding on for a 4-3 victory over the lowly Coyotes.

With the win, Colorado (40-30-7) improved to 11-1-2 in its last 14 games but remained seven points behind Calgary (42-25-10) for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with five games remaining - including two against the Flames.

"We played a perfect first two periods of hockey, then they got some momentum off their first goal," Colorado coach Joel Quenneville said. "Starts are really important and we need every two points we get. It was a huge win, but we are not that excited about the way we went about our business today. Calgary winning today wasn't very good news. We have to win out and get a lot of favors."

Hejduk opened the scoring 6:55 into the first period with his 31st goal of the season. He took the rebound off a shot from the right faceoff circle by Tyler Arnason and flipped it over sprawled goaltender Curtis Joseph.

Brett McLean doubled the advantage with 7:15 left in the opening session, when he redirected a great cross-ice pass from Hejduk past Joseph to the stick side.

Colorado opened a seemingly safe 4-0 lead in the second on a power-play goal by rookie Wojtek Wolski and an even-strength tally by Brad Richardson. Joseph, who made 10 saves, was pulled after Richardson's goal.

"It wasn't a question of if it was Curtis' fault, it was more a question of we were down 4-0 and A - shake things up a bit, and B - give him a rest so he can start tomorrow night and try to get those wins," Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said.

With 444 career victories, Joseph remains three behind Hall of Famer Terry Sawchuk for fourth place on the all-time list.

Phoenix mounted a mighty challenge in the third, as Steven Reinprecht scored against his former team 4:15 into the period, ending the Coyotes' scoreless streak at 131 minutes, 42 seconds. Phoenix was shut out, 6-0, by Dallas on Tuesday.

Kevyn Adams tallied 1:53 later and defenseman Nick Boynton was credited with a goal with 81 seconds left after the puck caromed off the left skate of Colorado blue-liner Ken Klee and into the net.

"We certainly played well in the third and they were sitting back a bit. We were going a little more high pressure and getting some chances," Adams said. "I think that at the end of the day, we have to go out and play 60 minutes. We have to learn not to turn it off, just compete for a full 60 minutes."

With six seconds to play, the Avalanche narrowly avoided overtime when Coyotes rookie Carl Carcillo's backhander from the right circle sailed over the pad of netminder Peter Budaj and rang off the left goalpost.

"We were happy to get those two points," Colorado rookie center Paul Stastny said. "We kind of sat back on our heels in third and they took it to us. We were fortunate to get the win in regulation because their last shot hit the post. I was trying to look back at the clock the whole time. Everyone was scrambling at the end of the game."

"It is a combination of when you are playing a team that is fighting for its life, it is human nature to get a little defensive, and that is what happened to Colorado, and we took advantage of them being defensive," Gretzky said. "It was a combination of our guys getting aggressive and being a little desperate and the fact they are fighting for their lives and didn't want to give up the tying goal."

Budaj, who stopped 11 shots over the first two periods, made nine saves in the third.

Carcillo recorded two assists for Phoenix, which fell to 2-10-2 in March.

With an assist on Richardson's goal, Joe Sakic gained sole possession of ninth place on the all-time scoring list with 1,580 points. The Avalanche captain entered in a tie with former teammate and Hall of Famer Ray Bourque.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLORADO 2 2 0 4
    PHOENIX 0 0 3 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COL - MILAN HEJDUK 31 (TYLER ARNASON, PAUL STASTNY) 6:55
    COL - BRETT MCLEAN 15 (MILAN HEJDUK, PAUL STASTNY) 12:45
    2ND PRD: COL - (PP) WOJTEK WOLSKI 21 (TYLER ARNASON, JOHN-MICHAEL
    LILES) 5:36
    COL - BRAD RICHARDSON 13

    Mar 30 12:28 AM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 4
    PHOENIX 3
    3RD PRD: PHO - STEVEN REINPRECHT 9 (DANIEL CARCILLO) 17:39

    Avalanche vs. CoyotesMar 30 12:25 AM
  • 15
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 15 roots

    Avalanche vs. CoyotesMar 30 12:25 AM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 4
    PHOENIX 2
    3RD PRD: PHO - KEVYN ADAMS 3 (MATHIAS TJARNQVIST, MIKE ZIGOMANIS) 6:08

    Avalanche vs. CoyotesMar 30 12:01 AM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 4
    PHOENIX 1
    3RD PRD: PHO - STEVEN REINPRECHT 8 (BILL THOMAS, KEITH BALLARD) 4:15

    Avalanche vs. CoyotesMar 29 11:57 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLORADO 2 2 4
    PHOENIX 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COL - MILAN HEJDUK 31 (TYLER ARNASON, PAUL STASTNY) 6:55
    COL - BRETT MCLEAN 15 (MILAN HEJDUK, PAUL STASTNY) 12:45
    2ND PRD: COL - (PP) WOJTEK WOLSKI 21 (TYLER ARNASON, JOHN-MICHAEL
    LILES) 5:36
    COL - BRAD

    Mar 29 11:34 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 4
    PHOENIX 0
    2ND PRD: COL - BRAD RICHARDSON 13 (ANDREW BRUNETTE, JOE SAKIC) 7:05

    Avalanche vs. CoyotesMar 29 11:11 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 3
    PHOENIX 0
    2ND PRD: COL - (PP) WOJTEK WOLSKI 21 (TYLER ARNASON, JOHN-MICHAEL
    LILES) 5:36

    Avalanche vs. CoyotesMar 29 11:10 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLORADO 2 2
    PHOENIX 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COL - MILAN HEJDUK 31 (TYLER ARNASON, PAUL STASTNY) 6:55
    COL - BRETT MCLEAN 15 (MILAN HEJDUK, PAUL STASTNY) 12:45
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COL 10 10


    Mar 29 10:42 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 2
    PHOENIX 0
    1ST PRD: COL - BRETT MCLEAN 15 (MILAN HEJDUK, PAUL STASTNY) 12:45

    Avalanche vs. CoyotesMar 29 10:31 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 1
    PHOENIX 0
    1ST PRD: COL - MILAN HEJDUK 31 (TYLER ARNASON, PAUL STASTNY) 6:55

    Avalanche vs. CoyotesMar 29 10:21 PM