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Avs Stay Hot, Beat Phoenix 6-3

by Staff Writer / Colorado Avalanche

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Joe Sakic and rookie Paul Stastny scored two goals apiece and the Colorado Avalanche inched closer to the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference playoffs with a 6-3 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday night.

Sakic's goals were his 29th and 30th, the ninth time in his career that he has reached 30 goals in a season. Stastny extended his NHL rookie record by scoring in his 20th consecutive game. He has 25 goals this season.

With the victory and Calgary's loss to Minnesota, the Avalanche pulled within six points of the Flames for the final Western Conference playoff spot.

Colorado is 7-0-1 in its last eight games to climb back into the postseason race. The Avalanche play at San Jose on Sunday.

Coach Wayne Gretzky's Coyotes lost for the seventh time in eight games.

The game was tied at 3 after two periods, then Ben Guite put Colorado ahead for good with an unassisted goal, a breakaway flip shot to the right of Phoenix goalie Curtis Joseph with 16:23 to play. It was Guite's second goal of the season.

The Avalanche cinched it with two late goals in a 25-second span. Brad Richardson's wrist shot, also to the right of Joseph, made it 5-3 with 2:16 remaining. Seconds after the subsequent faceoff, Stastny got his second goal of the night with 1:51 to play.

Stastny also extended his rookie record for points in consecutive games on the road at 15.

He scored the first goal of the night as Colorado shot to a 2-0 lead, but the Coyotes came back with three straight to go ahead. Jeremy Roenick scored the go-ahead goal on a tap-in after Daniel Carcillo's shot bounced off the elbow of goalie Peter Budaj. It was Roenick's eighth goal of the season.

Colorado needed just 25 seconds to tie it at 3, Sakic scoring on an assist from Andrew Brunette.

The Avalanche looked to be out of the postseason for the first time in 12 seasons just a couple of weeks ago, but their late charge -- including a 3-2 home victory over Calgary on Wednesday -- has them back in the fight.

Sakic also had an assist on Stastny's first goal.

Shane Doan scored his team-high 25th goal of the season for Phoenix.

Budaj -- 8-0-1 in his last nine outings -- had 30 saves, to 25 for Joseph.


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