Avs 4, Ducks 3
DENVER (AP) - Antti Laaksonen scored two goals and Joe Sakic moved into a tie for 14th place on the NHL's career points list, helping the Colorado Avalanche beat the Anaheim Mighty Ducks 4-3 on Thursday night.
Sakic put Colorado up 3-1 in the second period, tying Doug Gilmour with his 1,414th point, and Laaksonen sealed Colorado's fourth straight win on a short-handed goal with 4:42 left - one of numerous defensive breakdowns by the Ducks.
Anaheim's Joffrey Lupul made it interesting for the final minute, scoring a short-handed goal from the top of the right circle with 55 seconds left for his second of the game.
Colorado seemed to be in control after taking a 3-1 lead early in the second period before Anaheim picked up the offensive pressure.
The Ducks tied it on Lupul's power-play goal with 12 seconds left in the third period, then appeared to have tied it early in the third on a shot from the slot by Petr Sykora that squeezed past David Aebischer's pads. The puck stopped inches short of crossing the goal line and sat there for about five seconds before Avalanche defenseman John-Michael Liles cleared it.
Anaheim goalie Ilya Bryzgalov made some spectacular saves to keep Anaheim in it with Colorado dominating the play in the early going. He made a stick save from his back on a shot by Brett McLean in the first period, then made a similar stop on a power play early in the third.
Bryzgalov gave up three goals in a six-minute span of the first and second periods, but it had more to do with the Ducks' defense than anything the second-year goalie did.
After Sykora opened the scoring midway through the first period, Rob Blake scored Colorado's first goal with just under five minutes left in the first period after Alex Tanguay sent a pass from the corner through the crease to the far post. Laaksonen made it 2-1 less than two minutes later with his fifth goal after Andrew Brunette stole the puck from Ducks defenseman Vitaly Vishnevski behind the goal.
Sakic had the easiest goal of the bunch. Skating down the crease, he faked a pass to get two Ducks defensemen offbalance, then flipped a wrister past Bryzgalov 1:25 into the second period.
Bryzgalov made several more difficult stops in third period after Anaheim pulled to 3-2, including Tanguay twice from close range on power plays. He didn't stand much of a chance on the final goal, with Laaksonen scoring on a breakaway after the puck shot through Anaheim's power play unit.