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Rookies Shine In Avs Win Over Ducks

by Staff Writer / Colorado Avalanche
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Rookie Marek Svatos scored his 10th goal of the season and fifth game-winner and fellow rookie Peter Budaj made 31 saves as the Colorado Avalanche beat Anaheim 3-2 on Friday night.

Jonathan Hedstrom scored an unassisted goal, and Teemu Selanne connected on a power play in the third period for the Ducks, whose losing streak is their longest since a seven-game skid in March 1998. A home loss Sunday against Vancouver would tie the franchise record set in October 1996.

The Ducks have outshot opponents 192-139 the last five games while scoring only nine goals, and Anaheim is only 3-for-38 on the power play in their last six.

Milan Hejduk and Steve Konowalchuk also scored for the Avalanche, and Joe Sakic had two assists in a matchup of rookie goaltenders.

Peter Budaj, starting consecutive games for the first time in the NHL, made 31 saves after stopping 21 shots in Wednesday's 3-1 victory at Phoenix. David Aebischer allowed eight goals on 30 shots in his previous two starts following the goalie's seven-game winning streak.

Ilya Bryzgalov made 28 saves for Anaheim as Jean-Sebastien Giguere missed his second straight game because of a hamstring strain.

Colorado's top line of Hejduk, Tanguay and Sakic, which accounted for five goals the previous six games, opened the scoring at 13:53. Sakic and Tanguay made two precise passes in tight quarters to set up Hejduk, who tapped the puck into a wide-open net to end an eight-game goal drought.

Anaheim tied it about 3 1/2 minutes later after a sloppy turnover by Colorado defenseman John-Michael Liles, who put the puck right onto Hedstrom's stick on an attempted clearing pass in the Avalanche zone. Liles couldn't recover in time to prevent the Ducks rookie from beating Budaj between the pads for his fifth goal.

Brett Clark had a chance to put Colorado back in front, but missed the net completely on a penalty shot after getting tripped from behind on a breakaway by Scott Niedermayer at 9:35 of the second period. It was the first penalty shot against Bryzgalov, who came out to challenge Clark and forced him to shoot over the crossbar.

Konowalchuk and Selanne traded power-play goals about two minutes apart in the third period, with Selanne capitalizing on a holding penalty against Konowalchuk to tie it 2-2 about four minutes into the frame.

Notes: Hejduk, who scored a NHL-leading 50 goals in the 2002-03 season, has four in 13 games this season after sitting out the first six games while recovering from surgery on his right knee. ... Sakic's two assists gave him 1,420 career points, tying Adam Oates for 13th place on the career list. ... The Avalanche, who play at Los Angeles on Saturday, are playing consecutive road games against the Ducks and Kings for the seventh time since the NHL expanded to Anaheim in 1993-94. Colorado has never swept both games.

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