3 - 2 Final - 2OT
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Stastny returns, McLeod gets game-winner as Avalanche end skid

Feb 23, 2008 - 6:48 AM
GLENDALE, Arizona (Ticker) -- Cody McLeod ended a marathon shootout by scoring in the 12th round as the Colorado Avalanche snapped a five-game skid with a 3-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Friday.

All-Star Paul Stastny scored in his return and Marek Svatos also tallied in regulation for Colorado, which has not lost six straight since March 30-April 11, 1998.

"This was a huge point," Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville said. "We've lost a lot of ground the last week and a half."

Defenseman Derek Morris tied the game with 2.8 seconds left in the third period for Phoenix, which has lost two straight.

"It felt like we had the moment when we scored with two seconds left," Coyotes goaltender Mikael Tellqvist said. "Obviously, it's disappointing."

Both goaltenders were on top of their game in the shootout, making life miserable for the shooters. Tyler Arnason finally broke through for the Avalanche after the first 10 participants were denied.

"The first three shooters did exactly what I expected," Colorado netminder Jose Theodore said. "After that, you just kind of give yourself a few pointers. I just repeat technical points and just try to make a save."

But Phoenix continuously matched Colorado when it had to. Joel Perrault followed Arnason with a goal and Mike York kept the Coyotes alive with a tally in the eighth round.

"I've witnessed a couple of those on TV, but live, it's tough on the system," Quenneville said.

The next six shooters were denied before McLeod beat Tellqvist with a wrist shot. Theodore, who stopped 27 shots, then watched as defenseman Keith Yandle fired a wrist shot wide left, sealing the win for the Avalanche.

"I'm more of a mucker and grinder," McLeod said. "I just wanted to hit the net."

"What are you going to do when you have 11 guys shoot?" Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky asked. "It is what it is. It's a shootout."

Tellqvist made 27 saves for Phoenix, which tied the game late in regulation.

Trailing, 2-1, the Coyotes pulled Tellqvist for an extra attacker, and the move paid off. Theodore denied several attempts in the final seconds, but Morris unleashed a slap shot from the blue line that found its way past the former Hart and Vezina Trophy winner with less than three seconds to go.

"It's huge, the fact that we were able to get that point," Coyotes captain Shane Doan said. "The way we played the third period is the way we have to start a game."

Steven Reinprecht opened the scoring for Phoenix at 10:16 of the first.

But Stastny, who had missed 15 games following an appendectomy in mid-January, tied the game at 1-1 with 5:52 left in the period, taking a long pass from defenseman Jordan Leopold before burying his own rebound for his 18th goal of the season.

"I was a little tired," Stastny said. "I hadn't played a game for a month and a half. Other than that, I felt pretty good."

Svatos gave Colorado a 2-1 lead with a one-timer from the left side during a 5-on-3 power play at 9:09 of the second.