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Avalanche 3, Ducks 2 (Shootout)

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks

DENVER (AP) - Joe Sakic scored in a shootout and the Colorado Avalanche overcame Teemu Selanne's 500th career goal to beat the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 on Wednesday night.

Tyler Arnason and Brad Richardson scored in regulation for the Avalanche. Jose Theodore made 30 saves and turned aside shots by Selanne, Ryan Shannon and Ryan Getzlaf in the shootout to win a rematch of last season's Western Conference semifinal.

Selanne became the 36th player in NHL history to reach the milestone. He joined Jari Kurri as the only Finnish-born NHL players to score 500 goals.

The 36-year-old Selanne sent a wrist shot past Colorado goalie Jose Theodore at 14:54 of the second period. Andy McDonald set up the goal with a cross-ice pass.

Dustin Penner also scored for the Ducks and Chris Pronger had two assists. Jean-Sebastian Giguere stopped 41 shots and had his shutout streak snapped at 85 minutes, 44 seconds.

Anaheim outshot the Avalanche 12-10 in the third period. Brad Richardson missed an open net at 16:28 of the third for Colorado.

The game was tied 2-2 after two periods.

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Teemu Selanne has at least one point in each of his last five games. If he can continue that run with a goal, he will join an elite NHL fraternity.

Selanne looks to become the 36th player to score 500 career goals and help the Anaheim Ducks continue their Western Conference dominance Wednesday when they visit the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center.

Selanne extended his streak by scoring two goals to increase his total to 499, and Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 23 saves for his 24th shutout - his third this season - as the Ducks (15-2-5) routed San Jose 5-0 on Tuesday.

Selanne followed a five-assist performance Sunday with his first multigoal game of the season, and he has three goals and eight assists during his current points streak.

"It's all about confidence," Selanne said. "When the team is playing well, everybody is playing well. Everybody put in a good effort out there. That's what makes a good club better."

The veteran Finnish right wing has 19 goals and 28 assists in 42 lifetime games against the Avalanche, whom he played with in the 2003-04 season. Selanne, who has seven goals and a team-high 26 points in 22 games this season, had two goals and three assists versus Colorado in 2005-06.

Giguere's performance Tuesday helped the Ducks improve to 14-1-3 against Western Conference teams. Giguere, who is 12-1-4 with a 2.25 goals-against average, had allowed nine goals over his previous two starts.

Despite a 4-9 record with two ties and a 2.31 GAA lifetime against the Avalanche, Giguere is expected to start since backup Ilya Bryzgalov has a lower-body injury.

The Ducks, whose 35 points lead the conference, are 8-for-27 (29.6 percent) on the power play in their last four games and are second overall with a 22.0 percent conversion rate.

"We know how good we can be," Selanne said, "and we just want to keep pushing forward."

Colorado (9-10-2) looks to end a three-game home losing streak by continuing its series dominance of Anaheim after winning three of the four meetings last season. The Avalanche have 25 wins and seven times in the 46 all-time meetings.

But Colorado is trying to bounce back from a 5-4 loss Monday to Dallas, its fifth loss in the last seven games.

"We've been trying to get some momentum to start feeling better about ourselves," Colorado coach Joel Quenneville said.

Marek Svatos had his second three-point effort of the season with two goals and an assist. Joe Sakic had three assists, giving him 929 to tie him with Larry Murphy for 13th on the all-time list.

Sakic has 17 goals and 17 assists in 39 career games against Anaheim.

Goaltender Peter Budaj made 26 saves in the loss, allowing a season-high five goals in his third consecutive start for Colorado. He is 4-4-1 with a 2.39 GAA while starting eight of his nine appearances this season.

- Associated Press


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