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Avs Beat Canadiens For Sixth Straight Win

by Staff Writer / Colorado Avalanche
DENVER (AP) - Ian Laperriere's goal with 3:36 left in the third period capped Colorado's comeback and gave the Avalanche their sixth straight victory, 2-1 over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night.

Brad Richardson passed to Laperriere in front of the net and he beat Cristobal Huet to the stick side to break a 1-1 tie.

Huet appeared on his way to his first shutout of the season, stopping the first 35 shots he faced before Marek Svatos put in a rebound of a shot by Karlis Skrastins at 10:30 of the final period to tie it at 1. Svatos' 26th goal tied him with Alexander Ovechkin for the NHL rookie lead.

Avalanche goalie David Aebischer stopped 25 shots to win his fifth straight game and give Colorado its first six-game winning streak since Jan. 30-Feb. 11, 2003.

The Canadiens fell to 0-6-1 in Denver since the Quebec Nordiques moved to Colorado and became the Avalanche a decade ago.

The Avs won despite going 0-for-7 on power plays. Montreal was 0-for-4.

Moments after Avs right-winger Milan Hejduk hit the left post, Canadiens defenseman Craig Rivet broke the scoreless tie at 7:26 of the second period when he scored on a slap shot from the right point.

Despite an 18-4 shot advantage, Colorado failed to score a goal in the first period for just the ninth time in 45 games. The Avalanche lead the league with 64 first-period goals.

The safety glass behind the Canadiens' goal was broken with 28 seconds left in the second and the teams were sent to their dressing rooms. They returned and finished the period before switching sides.

Defenseman Patrice Brisebois, who signed with the Avs in August after spending 14 seasons with the Canadiens, faced his former team for the first time but came away empty.


The Avalanche extended its season-long winning streak to six games, the club's longest streak since also winning six straight from Jan. 30 - Feb. 11, 2003 ... Colorado improved to 10-2-3 against Montreal since the team moved to Denver, including a 6-0-1 mark at home ... David Aebischer notched his fifth straight win, during which he has stopped 136 of 142 shots faced (.957 save pct.) ... Marek Svatos scored his team-leading 26th goal of the season tonight, tying Alexander Ovechkin for the NHL lead among rookies...Svatos is now one shy of tying Andrei Kovalenko (27 in 1992-93) for the third place on the franchise's rookie goal-scoring list ... Svatos has a career-best four-game goal streak (6 total) ... Ian Laperriere scored his 14th goal of the year, establishing a new single-season career high...His previous best was 13 goals with the St. Louis Blues as a rookie in 1994-95 ... Joe Sakic played in his 1,200th NHL game, becoming the 64th player in NHL history to do so.


Marek Svatos: "I think we out-chanced them in the first period. Their goalie played outstanding tonight. We just couldn't bury one. In the second period, we gave them an opportunity to score and they did. It was a nice way to come back in the third." On His Goal... "I took a simple shot on the net and I got the rebound. I had an empty net and I just put it in. When I'm getting goals, I feel more comfortable. I have a lot of confidence so it is great."

David Aebischer: "We kept pushing and finally got rewarded in the third period. We had a lot of shots but maybe not so many chances...a lot of shots from the outside. That's what we wanted to do, put them under pressure as much as possible. I knew (Cristobal) Huet played really well and kept the game closer than we really wanted it to be." On Team Defense: "The communication between me and the ‘D' and the other way around is much better. They do a fantastic job with the rebounds, which makes my job easier."

Ian Laperriere: On His Goal... "I was right by myself in front and I kind of put in on net. I saw the goalie was still looking back and (Brad) Richardson made a great pass." General... "We came out strong and in the second we felt like it was going to get done no matter what. But we kind of let up a little bit. In the third, it showed a lot of character from the guys in our room. Everybody stepped up and we found a way to score goals and that's how good teams are made."

Cristobal Huet: "We were a little bit short on ‘D'. They kept pushing at us and we made a mistake at the end. It's frustrating for us to come back from this trip without a point. We played really good but when you're up 1-0 halfway thorugh the last period, you expect to get something out of it. But that's the way it is. I had a good game and we played pretty solid."

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