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Avs Record First Shootout Win Behind Kolesnik

by Staff Writer / Colorado Avalanche
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Antti Laaksonen scored the only goal in seven rounds of a shootout to give the Colorado Avalanche a 4-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Friday night.

Laaksonen beat Martin Brodeur with a backhand shot after Joe Sakic, Marek Svatos, Milan Hejduk, Alex Tanguay, Pierre Turgeon and Andrew Brunette missed for Colorado.

Vitaly Kolesnik, who won his second game in two starts since he was recalled from the minors on Tuesday, stopped New Jersey's Viktor Kozlov, Brian Gionta, Scott Gomez, Alexander Mogilny, Sergei Brylin, John Madden and Jamie Langenbrunner.

In regulation, Brunette had two goals and Sakic also scored in the first period as Colorado jumped out to a 3-0 lead. Jay Pandolfo, Gionta and Gomez scored for New Jersey, which dropped its third straight game.

Gomez sent the game into overtime, scoring at 10:09 of the third period with a deflection of Richard Matvichuk's point shot.

Brunette opened the scoring at 3:31 of the first period, putting in his own rebound in a goal-mouth scramble. Turgeon assisted on the goal for his 1,300th career point. Turgeon is the 27th player to reach that level.

Sakic scored with 3:31 left in the period.

Brunette struck again with 1:19 remaining in the first, blasting Turgeon's rebound past Brodeur.

The Devils cut it to 3-2 in the second period.

Pandolfo took a feed from Mogilny and split the Colorado defense to fire a shot over Kolesnik's glove at 5:49.

The Devils struggling power play, only 1-for-33 in the previous five games, connected on its first opportunity with the help of a lucky bounce at 7:12 to cut the Avalanche's lead to 3-2.

Kolesnik went behind his net to play a Devils' dump in. The puck never got to him. It hit a crease in the boards and bounced right to Gionta, who scored before Kolesnik could scramble back into position.

Notes: Avalanche forward Dan Hinote played in his 300th game. ... Devils defenseman Dan McGillis was a healthy scratch for the fourth straight game. ... With Kolesnik in goal again, David Aebischer was not in uniform for the first time this season. Peter Budaj was the backup.

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