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Avs Move Into First Place With 4-3 Win Over Ducks

by Staff Writer / Colorado Avalanche
DENVER (AP) - Andrew Brunette scored two third-period goals and had an earlier assist to lead the Colorado Avalanche to a 4-3 victory over Anaheim that snapped the Mighty Ducks' six-game winning streak Tuesday night.

Brunette's winning goal came at 13:57 of the final period, when he deflected a slap shot from Brett Clark past goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere.

Clark added a goal, and Brett McLean also scored for Colorado. Ryan Getzlaf, Teemu Selanne and Sean O'Donnell scored for the Mighty Ducks, who fell short in their attempt to come from behind to win in six straight games.

The Avalanche moved two points ahead of idle Calgary in the race for first place in the Northwest Division. Calgary plays Los Angeles on Wednesday before facing Colorado at home on Friday.

Anaheim struggled on the power play after going 9-for-15 in its previous three wins. The Ducks failed to score on all five of their chances, including one in the final four minutes.

Brunette scored at 7:41 in the final period to put the Avalanche up 3-2, but Getzlaf tied it again 33 seconds later when he put the puck past goalie Peter Budaj's stick side.

Budaj made 28 saves, and Giguere stopped 31 shots.

Selanne scored against his former team and tied it at 2 at 4:15 of the third period after taking a pass through the crease from Todd Fedoruk.

Clark scored his eighth goal to put the Avs up 2-1 early in the second period. He took a pass in front of the net from Brunette, who was sliding on his knees toward the boards. McLean had tied it at 1 at 15:39 of the first period, putting the puck past Giguere's glove side.

O'Donnell scored the Ducks' first goal of the night, his first since he was traded to Anaheim from Phoenix on March 9 and his second this season.


Anaheim had its six-game winning streak halted tonight...The Ducks fell one shy of tying their franchise record of seven straight wins set in 1999...Colorado finished 3-0-1 against the Mighty Ducks this season...The Avs are 25-10-7-4 all-time versus Anaheim...Andrew Brunette tied his season high in both goals (2) and points (3)...It's his second two-goal game of the year, as he also scored twice on Dec. 9 at New Jersey...Bruno has yet to score a hat trick in his NHL career...Brunette surpassed the 20-goal mark for the third time in his career...He scored 21 with Minnesota in 2001-02, and a career high 23 with Atlanta in 1999-2000...Joe Sakic matched his season high with three assists...He also had three on Feb. 28 vs. Minnesota...Joe Sakic extended his point streak to eight games (6g, 9a)...With his three points tonight, Sakic has taken over the team scoring lead with 76 points...Alex Tanguay has 74...Brett Clark tied his season and career high with two points...It's his fifth career multi-point game and fourth this season...Milan Hejduk recorded his 248th career assist tonight, tying Valeri Kamensky for 8th place on the franchise's all-time assist list.


Andrew Brunette: On His Game-Winner... "I was just going to the net and (Brett Clark) shot it at me and it just kind of went in. I don't know if I bumped Giguere, I was just going to the net and he might have been outside the crease. I don't know and I don't care." General... "We're a pretty resilient group and everybody has chipped in. Late in training camp I thought we had four lines that could score. We've kind of continued that theme all season. We had a little rough patch in December but over the last two months, we're never out of a hockey game."

Joe Sakic: General... "It's been like this all year. Everybody's contributed. That's what we've done all year." On Tonight's Game... "In the second, both teams started to pick it up and tried to create and definitely made it a lot more exciting in the last part of the game."

Brett Clark: On the Next Opponent... "These are the points we need to have. (Calgary) is going to be hungry, especially in their barn. They play really hard right off the start. Last time we were there we didn't have a great start. So hopefully this time we'll come out strong and take the game to them." On His Performance Tonight... "I didn't do much of the work out there. I was in the right place at the right time. Joe's line played unbelievable tonight. They were creating a lot for us. On my goal (Brunette) made a great pass and I had an open net. And on the second one, he drove the net and made a great play. We've just been playing hard and keeping it simple as a team."

Todd Marchant: "I think if you look at the game as a whole 60 minutes, we didn't bring our best effort. We certainly didn't work as hard as we did in the past. With that being said, at the end of two periods, we were still in this game. We came back to tie it three times. But for whatever reason it just wasn't our night. Those were two huge points we let slip by when after two periods we still had a chance. So, we have to regroup, learn from our mistakes and be ready for the game tomorrow night."

J.S. Giguere: On Brunette's Game-Winner... "I felt it was clear that there was goalie interference. But with that Sakic line, I thought they out-worked us all game. Their whole team actually out-worked us and we didn't deserve to win tonight. I thought they played pretty desperate. They got embarrassed the last time we played against them with the comeback we had. And a team like that doesn't get comeback on very often. I think they deserved it more than we did."

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