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Avs Top Hawks 4-3 in Final Minute

by Staff Writer / Colorado Avalanche
DENVER (AP) - Dan Hinote and Rob Blake scored in the final 57 seconds and the Colorado Avalanche moved within three points of the Northwest Division lead with a 4-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night.

Blake scored two goals and became the 17th NHL defenseman to score 200. Andrew Brunette added a goal, and Joe Sakic had three assists.

Calgary lost one point off its division lead by falling in a shootout to Detroit at home Monday. Both the Flames and Avalanche have seven games remaining. Colorado will play its final three games on the road.

Curtis Brown, Patrick Sharp and Rene Bourque had goals for the Blackhawks, who are out of playoff contention.

Brown gave Chicago a 3-2 lead with 5:21 left in the third when he took a centering pass from Bourque from behind the net and sent a backhander over goaltender Peter Budaj's glove.

But with 2:03 remaining, Michal Barinka was sent off for cross checking. Blake tied it 3-3 at 19:03, sending the puck through a pileup in front of the net and past goalie Nikolai Khabibulin.

Hinote scored from a tough angle after Sakic had dumped the puck into Chicago's zone. Hinote skated along the right boards and sent a shot off the back Khabibulin's right pad and into the net with 12 seconds left.

Chicago outshot Colorado 9-6 in the first period and showed some grit after Khabibulin gave up a rebound goal to Blake at 5:09. Sakic's wrist shot was stopped and bounced right to Blake, who tapped it in for his first of the night.

Sharp took a pass from Mikael Holmqvist and ripped a slap shot from the upper right circle at 7:13 of the period for his 12th of the season.

Bourque gave Chicago a 2-1 lead when he scored between Budaj's pads at 8:13. Brunette tied it with a power-play goal at 13:34.


Rob Blake scored his 199th and 200th career goals tonight, becoming the 17th defenseman in NHL history to surpass the 200-goal plateau...Joe Sakic extended his point streak to 10 games (8g, 12a), matching his season high set Nov. 23- Dec. 12...It also matches the club season high done twice by Sakic and once by Alex Tanguay...Sakic now has three consecutive multi-point games, notching two goals and six assists in his last three outings...Andrew Brunette extended his point streak to five games (4g, 5a)...Brunette scored his 22nd goal of the season tonight, which is now just one shy of tying his career high of 23 goals set with Atlanta in 1999-2000.


Andrew Brunette: On the last two goals... "The huge goal was to tie it up obviously. Rob Blake came in, long stick, long reach, big guy. And then Danny (Hinote) made a good play. Blake played an unbelievable game tonight. He was buzzing the whole night. I don't know at the approach of the game if we had the intensity we need to play this time of year. We ended up getting the win. So hopefully we learned our lesson a little bit."

Rob Blake: On His 200th goal... "I'm fortunate. When you play with some great players, you get some opportunities. When you play long enough, some of those goals will start going in. I've played with some great players, with Joe (Sakic) and guys like that...and (Wayne) Gretzky in LA. Good things have happened for me." On the win... "It's big. We needed these. But it's tough to play teams like this. They come at you like they're playing for their jobs. They are guys that play hard and get good goaltending. We stuck with the game plan and scored that power play at the end and then Danny (Hinote) made a strong move down the wall, took the puck to the net and it went in for us."

Dan Hinote: On his goal: "Obviously I'm not trying to score from there, but it ended up working for me. I got lucky. There's a big testament to our leaders today. Blake was phenomenal. Joe was, as always. The win was big for us. With the points we need, we can't afford to lose two points, at any time for the rest of the season. So for us to come back late like we did, it's going to be a big boost for us."

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