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Power Play Propels Avs Past Flyers

by Staff Writer / Colorado Avalanche

DENVER (AP) - Andrew Raycroft's first career start for Colorado was a success Thursday night as the former Toronto goaltender helped the Avalanche beat the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2 for their first win.

With starter Peter Budaj getting a rest, the Avalanche pressured the Flyers (0-3-1) early and relied on Raycroft's steady play in goal and captain Joe Sakic's three assists to pull out their first win of the season.

The goals Raycroft allowed came on a 5-on-3 power play and a penalty shot.

Raycroft's teammates made sure he wouldn't have a pressure-filled debut for the Avs.

The Avalanche outshot the Flyers 17-3 in the first period and got goals from Brett Clark and Marek Svatos, who scored on a power play, to take a 2-0 lead.

Sakic sent a cross-ice pass to Clark, who fired a shot through Martin Biron's legs for his first goal of the season. Then, Ruslan Salei sent the puck across the ice to Wojtek Wolski, who sent it down into the slot and Svatos put the puck over Biron's left shoulder.

The Flyers scored twice in the second period but both times the Avalanche quickly responded with goals of their own and took a 4-2 lead into the final period.

Milan Hejduk needed less than a minute to reply to Simon Gagne's goal on a penalty shot, and Cody McCormick responded to Mike Richards' one-timer on a 5-on-3 advantage with a goal that scooted past Biron with just 36 seconds left in the second period.

With seven minutes remaining in the game, Paul Stastny scored on a 5-on-3 power play to make it 5-2.

Notes: Budaj is expected to return in goal Saturday night at Dallas. ... The Avs honored D Adam Foote in pregame ceremonies commemorating his 1,000th NHL game last Sunday at Edmonton. ... Sakic, who decided in August to return for his 20th NHL season, hadn't scored a point in his first four games since 1999-2000. ... Colorado outshot Philadelphia 34-18.

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