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Avs Comeback Falls Short, Blackhawks Win 5-3

by Staff Writer / Colorado Avalanche

DENVER (AP) -- Martin Lapointe scored two goals, including the winner early in the third, and Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 19 shots in the Chicago Blackhawks' 5-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Monday night.

Lapointe scored from just above the right circle at 5:26 as he slipped a shot past Jose Theodore and into the right side of the net. Lasse Kukkonen had the assist.

Patrick Sharp scored with a second remaining in the game after the Avalanche pulled Theodore with 48 seconds left. Colorado was already short-handed after a penalty by John-Michael Liles with 2:01 left.

The Blackhawks squandered a three-goal lead when Patrice Brisebois tied the game at 3 after a feed from Milan Hejduk, who was behind the net, early in the third period.

Hejduk had two assists and Tyler Arnason had a goal and two assists.

Lapointe and Kukkonen scored power-play goals in the final minute of the first period. Radim Vrbata added a second-period goal.

Martin Havlat had two assists. He has six goals and six assists through five games.

Colorado and Chicago traded power-play goals in the second period. Vrbata gave the Blackhawks a 3-0 lead, but Joe Sakic countered 2:24 later with a wrist shot over Khabibulin. Tyler Arnason scored with 2:58 left to make it a 3-2 game.

It was a small measure of revenge for Arnason, who was drafted by Chicago in 1998. He spent more than three seasons with the Blackhawks before being traded. Arnason also had two assists.

The Blackhawks dominated play in the first period, outshooting Colorado 17-4, but didn't score until the final minute. Lapointe and Kukkonen scored 44 seconds apart.

The Avalanche killed four penalties until the final minute of the first period. Colorado came into the game second in the league in penalty killing.

Notes: The Avalanche's 487-game sellout streak ended Monday night. It was the longest recorded string in NHL history. The last time Colorado didn't have a sellout was Nov. 1, 1995, against Calgary at McNichols Arena. ... Sakic scored his 576th career goal and now has 1,493 points in his career. ... The Avalanche were averaging 36.5 shots per game, second-most in the league, but took only 22 against Chicago.

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