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Hejduk's career night helps Avalanche drub Blues

Dec 10, 2007 - 5:05 AM
DENVER (Ticker) -- The Colorado Avalanche are really enjoy playing at the Pepsi Center this season.

Milan Hejduk notched his fifth career hat trick and added three assists and Paul Stastny had two goals and set up three others to lead the Avalanche to a 9-5 rout of the St. Louis Blues on Sunday night.

It was Hejduk's first hat trick of the campaign and his six-point performance set a new career high and doubled his season high. The 31-year-old Czech's last three-goal game was on April 5 against the Vancouver Canucks.

"Ryan (Smyth) and Paul work really well behind the net and down in the slot, so it works well," Hejduk said. "We just try to find each other open, make the nice pass."

Ryan Smyth added a goal and two assists and defenseman Brett Clark finished with a tally and an assist for Colorado, which is now 12-3-0 at home this season, while going just 4-9-1 on the road.

"We spotted them a couple of goals in the third when they caught us back on our heals, but we answered," Smyth said. "The bottom line is the two points."

After the Blues grabbed the lead midway through the first period, Hejduk evened the score at 1-1 later in the session. Smyth stole the puck away from unsuspecting defenseman Christian Backman in St. Louis' zone and sent a quick pass to Hejduk, who fired a quick shot past Hannu Toivonen with 4:23 remaining.

The Avalanche took a 2-1 advantage when Hejduk scored his second goal of night and 12th of the season. After Clark's shot was turned aside by Toivonen's left pad, Hejduk stuffed in the rebound at 5:02 of the second period.

"It was just one of those nights where everything that we touched went in," Hejduk said. "It was really a fun game to play. The whole team played well."

Colorado's lead would not hold up long as Jay McClement tied the game at 2-2 with a penalty shot just 42 seconds later. After being taken down by Clark on a breakaway, McClement converted the penalty shot by unleashing a quick shot past Jose Theodore's glove side.

McClement's second goal of the game failed to turn the momentum as the Avalanche scored four unanswered goals to close out the second period.

Stastny gave Colorado a 3-2 edge with 9:59 left in the middle session when he took a centering feed from Jaroslav Hlinka out of the left corner and knocked it past Toivonen.

"We had two or three chances to get the puck out of the zone," St. Louis coach Andy Murray said. "But at that point it's still 3-2. We just made too many mistakes."

Wojtek Wolski scored just 87 ticks later and both Clark and Smyth tallied before the end of the period to give the Avalanche a 6-2 lead entering the third period.

The Blues quickly cut into the Avalanche's advantage with Doug Weight and David Perron registering goals in the first 84 seconds of the final session. Weight notched his second goal of the campaign just 24 seconds in, and then Perron cut the deficit to 6-4 a minute later.

Stastny, Hejduk and Wolski all scored again in the third period to give the Avalanche a 9-4 lead. Stastny and Hejduk now share the team lead with 13 goals on the season, while Wolski has 11.

"Our defensive coverage, which has been a strong point of our team, was not good enough," Murray said. "They're a very good team down low in the offensive zone, and we didn't do a very good job of handling their down-low pressure."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ST LOUIS 1 1 3 5
    COLORADO 1 5 3 9 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: STL - JAY MCCLEMENT 2 (LEE STEMPNIAK, DAVID BACKES) 10:14
    COL - MILAN HEJDUK 11 (RYAN SMYTH) 15:37
    2ND PRD: COL - (PP) MILAN HEJDUK 12 (BRETT CLARK, JOHN-MICHAEL LILES)
    5:02
    STL - (PS) JAY MCCLEMENT 3 5:44
    COL - PAUL

    Dec 9 10:31 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 5
    COLORADO 9
    3RD PRD: STL - (PP) LEE STEMPNIAK 5 (DAVID PERRON, ERIC BREWER) 19:19

    Blues vs. AvalancheDec 9 10:30 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 4
    COLORADO 9
    3RD PRD: COL - (PP) WOJTEK WOLSKI 11 (ANDREW BRUNETTE, T.J. HENSICK)
    14:17

    Blues vs. AvalancheDec 9 10:21 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 4
    COLORADO 8
    3RD PRD: COL - (PP) MILAN HEJDUK 13 (PAUL STASTNY, JOHN-MICHAEL LILES)
    12:16

    Blues vs. AvalancheDec 9 10:19 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 4
    COLORADO 7
    3RD PRD: COL - PAUL STASTNY 13 (RYAN SMYTH, MILAN HEJDUK) 7:37

    Blues vs. AvalancheDec 9 10:06 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 4
    COLORADO 6
    3RD PRD: STL - DAVID PERRON 6 (JAMAL MAYERS, KEITH TKACHUK) 1:24

    Blues vs. AvalancheDec 9 9:57 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 3
    COLORADO 6
    3RD PRD: STL - DOUG WEIGHT 2 (BRAD BOYES, BRYCE SALVADOR) 0:24

    Blues vs. AvalancheDec 9 9:55 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ST LOUIS 1 1 2
    COLORADO 1 5 6 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: STL - JAY MCCLEMENT 2 (LEE STEMPNIAK, DAVID BACKES) 10:14
    COL - MILAN HEJDUK 11 (RYAN SMYTH) 15:37
    2ND PRD: COL - (PP) MILAN HEJDUK 12 (BRETT CLARK, JOHN-MICHAEL LILES)
    5:02
    STL - (PS) JAY MCCLEMENT 3 5:4

    Dec 9 9:35 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 2
    COLORADO 6
    2ND PRD: COL - RYAN SMYTH 9 (PAUL STASTNY, MILAN HEJDUK) 17:27

    Blues vs. AvalancheDec 9 9:32 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 2
    COLORADO 5
    2ND PRD: COL - BRETT CLARK 3 (MILAN HEJDUK, PAUL STASTNY) 14:38

    Blues vs. AvalancheDec 9 9:26 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 2
    COLORADO 4
    2ND PRD: COL - WOJTEK WOLSKI 10 (ANDREW BRUNETTE, SCOTT HANNAN) 11:28

    Blues vs. AvalancheDec 9 9:22 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 2
    COLORADO 3
    2ND PRD: COL - PAUL STASTNY 12 (JAROSLAV HLINKA, SCOTT HANNAN) 10:01

    Blues vs. AvalancheDec 9 9:17 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 2
    COLORADO 2
    2ND PRD: STL - (PS) JAY MCCLEMENT 3 5:44

    Blues vs. AvalancheDec 9 9:08 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 1
    COLORADO 2
    2ND PRD: COL - (PP) MILAN HEJDUK 12 (BRETT CLARK, JOHN-MICHAEL LILES)
    5:02

    Blues vs. AvalancheDec 9 9:07 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ST LOUIS 1 1
    COLORADO 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: STL - JAY MCCLEMENT 2 (LEE STEMPNIAK, DAVID BACKES) 10:14
    COL - MILAN HEJDUK 11 (RYAN SMYTH) 15:37
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    STL 5 5
    COL 8

    Dec 9 8:42 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 1
    COLORADO 1
    1ST PRD: COL - MILAN HEJDUK 11 (RYAN SMYTH) 15:37

    Blues vs. AvalancheDec 9 8:37 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 1
    COLORADO 0
    1ST PRD: STL - JAY MCCLEMENT 2 (LEE STEMPNIAK, DAVID BACKES) 10:14

    Blues vs. AvalancheDec 9 8:24 PM