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Colorado
Avalanche
44-31-7
Atlanta
Thrashers
34-40-8

29 SOG
24 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
COL
ATL
game recap

Avalanche 5, Thrashers 2

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:52 AM

Associated Press

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Avalanche 5, Thrashers 2
Colorado Avalanche 5, Atlanta Thrashers 2

ATLANTA (AP) -With Colorado playing its third game in four days, coach Joel Quenneville hoped the Avalanche would stay focused on the playoffs.

"I don't think there's any opportunity to feel complacent," he said. "One day you're in third (place), the next you're in eighth, and the ninth-place team is right there."

Andrew Brunette scored two goals and Colorado got a goal and two assists each from Joe Sakic and rookie David Jones in a 5-2 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers on Tuesday night.

The Avalanche moved into a tie for first place in the Northwest Division with Calgary, which had the night off. Both teams have 82 points. Minnesota is third with 81, one more than Vancouver, which holds the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

"We've got to take care of our own business," Quenneville said. "Whoever does best within this division is going to have the best chance of winning it."

Colorado has won 10 of 14 on the road, seven of eight overall.

Jones, a ninth-round draft choice in 2003, scored his first career goal to make it 4-1 in the second. Now in his third stint this season after the Avalanche recalled him again from Lake Erie of the American Hockey League, Jones wants to savor his first goal.

"I can't wait to get that puck home and put it on my mantel," he said. "It will be up there at the top."

Jones assisted on Brunette's 16th goal and Sakic's 10th goal to help the Avalanche take a 2-0 lead in the first. Sakic, who ranks eighth in career NHL points, thought Jones played with poise.

"I think he played really well," Sakic said. "He's got size. He's got speed. He goes to the net hard and handles the puck well."

Colby Armstrong had an unassisted goal midway through the first for the Thrashers, who lost their second straight and have just one victory in 11 games.

"There's nothing to say," Atlanta captain Bobby Holik said. "There's nothing for us to say right now."

Milan Hejduk's 22nd goal came in the first minute of the second after Scott Hannan passed from the left circle and beat goaltender Johan Hedberg stick side.

Brunette's 17th goal, which pushed the lead to 5-1 late in the second, improved Colorado to 24-5-2 this season when scoring on the power play.

Hedberg, who dropped to 13-20-5, stopped 18 of 23 shots before coach Don Waddell pulled him in favor of Kari Lehtonen to begin the third.

Waddell indicated the Thrashers have more problems right now than just poor goaltending and inadequate defense.

"It shouldn't be a problem getting up for games, but for some reason this is the first one we've had like that," Waddell said. "So let's hope we can blow by it pretty quickly as we start a stretch drive of seven games in 11 nights. It's going to be a long 11 nights if we give those kind of 60 minutes."

Jose Theodore is 23-18-2 after stopping 22 of 24 shots and winning his seventh start in eight games.

Erik Christensen's 11th goal ended the scoring with 3:52 remaining.

Notes: C Peter Forsberg (groin) missed his second straight game for Colorado. ... After fighting Stars D Steve Ott in a 3-0 loss at Dallas on Sunday, D Ruslan Salei returned to Denver to have his injured eye examined. ... C Paul Stastny earned his team-high 37th assist and third in four games on Brunette's second goal. ... The Avalanche have killed 22 straight penalties. ... Colorado improved to 5-1 this month, 16-2-2 in March over the past two seasons. ... Alexei Zhitnik, Atlanta's highest-paid defenseman, was a healthy scratch for the third straight game. ... Colorado, 8-1 against the Eastern Conference, ended a three-game losing streak to the Thrashers to earn their first win in Atlanta since 2002.

scoring summary
1st Period
04:47
COL
Andrew Brunette (16) Tip-in - ASST: David Jones (2)
1 - 0 COL
07:53
COL
Joe Sakic (10) Snap shot - ASST: David Jones (3)
2 - 0 COL
09:20
ATL
Colby Armstrong (11) Tip-in - ASST: NONE
2 - 1 COL
2nd Period
00:48
COL
Milan Hejduk (22) Tip-in - ASST: Scott Hannan (17), Jaroslav Hlinka (19)
3 - 1 COL
09:45
COL
David Jones (1) Snap shot - ASST: Joe Sakic (17), Jose Theodore (2)
4 - 1 COL
17:40
COL
PPG - Andrew Brunette (17) Wrist shot - ASST: Joe Sakic (18), Paul Stastny (37)
5 - 1 COL
3rd Period
03:52
ATL
Erik Christensen (11) Snap shot - ASST: Eric Perrin (27), Colby Armstrong (18)
5 - 2 COL
penalty summary
1st Period
16:38
COL
Ben Guite  Interference against  Eric Perrin
2nd Period
11:08
ATL
Niclas Havelid  Slashing against  Andrew Brunette
16:26
ATL
Tobias Enstrom  Tripping against  Kyle Cumiskey
20:00
COL
Scott Hannan  Closing hand on puck
3rd Period
09:31
COL
David Jones  Holding against  Tobias Enstrom
14:30
ATL
Ilya Kovalchuk  Tripping against  Jeff Finger
17:06
ATL
Brad Larsen  Interference against  Cody McLeod
goalie stats
Jose Theodore
SA: 24TOI: 59:53
Saves: 22EV: 18 - 20
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 4
SV%: .917SH: 0 - 0
Johan Hedberg
SA: 23TOI: 39:59
Saves: 18EV: 17 - 21
PIM: 0PP: 1 - 2
SV%: .783SH: 0 - 0
Kari Lehtonen
SA: 6TOI: 20:00
Saves: 6EV: 6 - 6
PIM: 0PP: 0 - 0
SV%: 1.000SH: 0 - 0