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Svatos' Hat Trick Leads Avs To Fifth Straight Win

by Staff Writer / Colorado Avalanche
DENVER (AP) - Rookie Marek Svatos had his second three-goal game and David Aebischer stopped 27 shots to help the Colorado Avalanche win their fifth straight game, 6-1 over the St. Louis Blues on Monday night.

Svatos has five goals in three games, 25 for the season and four multiple goal games. He also had a hat trick Oct. 10 against Calgary.

Patrice Brisebois, Andrew Brunette and Alex Tanguay added goals for the Avalanche. The winning streak is Colorado's longest since a six-game run Jan. 30-Feb. 11, 2003.

Simon Gamache scored the lone goal for St. Louis, 4-6-0-1 in its last 11 games. Jason Bacashihua made 30 saves and the Blues were 0-for-7 on the power play.

Brisebois and Svatos scored 1:11 apart in the first period to put Colorado ahead 2-0. With teams playing 4-on-4, Brisebois took a pass from Brett Clark and sent a slap shot from the right point off the right post and into the net at 13:40.

The Avalanche went on the power play seconds later when Ian Laperriere returned from a roughing penalty. Bacashihua stopped Rob Blake's slap shot from the slot, but Svatos jumped on the rebound and sent it past Bacashiua's glove at 14:51.

St. Louis had chances to score early in the second period, but came up empty. Jamal Mayers hit the right post on a breakaway 2 minutes into the period.

The Blues managed only one shot on Aebischer in a 45-second, 5-on-3 advantage. They had only three shots on the combined penalties to Brad Richardson and Milan Hejduk.

Svatos scored his second goal of the game on a one-timer from the slot at 8:35 of the second period, and completed the hat trick with 6:35 left in the third.


Colorado has now won a season-high five straight games, the club's longest winning streak since notching six straight wins from Jan. 30 - Feb. 11, 2003 ... Marek Svatos notched his second career hat trick tonight...He scored his first hat trick on Oct. 10 of this season against the Calgary Flames ... Svatos notched his NHL-leading eighth game-winning goal of the season, the most by an NHL rookie since Joe Nieuwendyk also had eight game-winners with the Calgary Flames in 1987-88...The eight game winners are already a franchise rookie record ... Svatos three goals tonight move him into a tie with Alexander Ovechkin for the NHL lead among rookies with 25 goals...Svatos' 25 goals are already the most by a rookie in Avalanche history (since 1995-96) and are now the fourth most by a rookie in franchise history, passing Joe Sakic and Mats Sundin ... Svatos scored two of his goals on the power play tonight, giving him a team-best 10 power-play goals this season, tied with Petr Prucha for second among NHL rookies behind Ovechkin (12)...Marek's 10 PPG match Joe Sakic (1988-89) for the third most by a rookie in franchise history, trailing only Anton Stastny (12 in 1980-81) and Peter Stastny (11 in 1980-81) ... Alex Tanguay has now scored a goal in each of his last four games (5 total), setting a new career best for consecutive games with a goal...It also matches Joe Sakic for the club season high, as Sakic scored in four straight from Nov. 25-30 ... Alex Tanguay extended his point streak to six games tonight (6g 5a) ... Brett McLean extended his point streak to three games (0g, 3a), matching his season high set Dec. 28-31...Brett has points in six of his last seven games (2g, 5a) ... Svatos has scored a goal in three straight games (5 total), matching his career best.


Rob Blake: On Svatos... "He's hot and he finds a way to get open and he wants the puck. You don't find many guys that want to score like that and know how." General... "Our penalty killing worked. Again, your best penalty killer is your goalie. I think David (Aebischer) was real sharp again tonight. I don't think we're playing that much better but I think we're a little bit more committed to different things and not leaving the puck in bad areas. We're not in our end as much."

Marek Svatos: On His Hat Trick... "It's the best feeling for a forward. It was one of those nights that, for me, everything went in. I had three shots and three goals." On Ovechkin and Crosby... "I'm not tracking it. But obviously I read the newspaper and I know Ovechkin has 25. So it's nice to catch him. They are great players and the best players on their teams. "

David Aebischer: "It's much easier and much better to live this way. To win and to have fun in the games and play well. Sometimes, it was tough. But I hung in there and got another chance. And so far, I'm taking full advantage of that. To me, it's fun to play again. We are playing really well right now defensively which makes my job better and easier too. I don't think we gave up too much. They had a couple of scoring chances in the first period and a couple in the second but that was pretty much it."

Jason Bacashihua: "I just tried to stay focused. They got a lot of scoring chances. A game like that, you just have to stay focused and not let things bother you. And you have to be ready for anything. It's frustrating not just for myself but for the whole team. We need goals to win games and we haven't been able to do that on the road. We have to find a way to do that."

Doug Weight: "It's a different game in this league. You can come out of that first period with a one-goal deficit or a tie game. They have a lot of fire-power. We were in the box a lot. We kind of hung our goalie out to dry a little bit after it was 3-0, 4-0. We started taking bad chances and playing really stupid hockey. It's just like it looks. It's very frustrating."

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