DENVER (AP) -Joe Sakic scored the go-ahead goal in the third period, giving him 100 points for the first time since 2001 and leading Colorado past Calgary 6-3 Sunday night in a game rendered meaningless by the Avalanche's loss 24 hours earlier.
It was the first time in the Avalanche's 11 seasons in Denver that the team played a game with the playoffs out of their grasp.
This game was setting up to be an all-or-nothing affair until the Avalanche blew a third-period lead Saturday night and lost to Nashville, when Peter Forsberg broke Colorado's hearts again, assisting on the go-ahead goal that would eliminate the Avs from the playoff race.
Colorado's loss to the Predators handed the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference to the Flames, who lost to lowly Edmonton at home.
So, instead of a packed Pepsi Center on Easter night for a showdown, the lineups lacked all the stars and the seats weren't packed with fans, making for a quiet and solemn atmosphere until the third period, when the Avs grabbed their first lead on Sakic's goal and Ian Laperriere went at it with Dion Phaneuf.
The crowd, sparse as it was, stood and gave the Avs a prolonged ovation when the game ended and the Avs held their sticks high in appreciation on the ice before filing through the tunnel, their season over.