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Avalanche 3, Ducks 2, SO @NHL

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -Even an injured Anaheim Ducks team was a tough test for Peter Budaj and the Colorado Avalanche.

Budaj made 38 saves before shutting down three Anaheim skaters in the shootout to help lift the Avalanche to a 3-2 win over the Ducks on Saturday night.

Milan Hedjuk beat goalie Anaheim goalie Ilya Bryzaglov with a backhand shot in the fourth round of the shootout to win it for Colorado. Wojtek Wolski had previously scored for the Avalanche and Chris Kunitz for the Ducks in the opening round.

"It was huge win for us, Peter made some great saves," Hejduk said.

Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf sent the game to overtime with a goal from the slot off a feed from Corey Perry with 11:03 to play.

But Budaj stood tough the rest of the way, making 15 saves over the final period to put Colorado in a position to win. The Avalanche were outshot 40-17 for the game.

"He stole a point for them," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "They worked hard and he was strong in the net. Bottom line is we missed a point but it wasnt because of lack of effort or lack of execution."

Budaj has started the last eight Avalanche games, improving to 4-3-1 during that stretch. He was impressed with the Ducks' effort despite missing several top players.

"It was a big team win," Budaj said. "They have a strong team, very fast and very skilled. I think our guys battled hard, especially at the end."

The Ducks are now 2-4-2 since losing starting goal Jean-Sebastien Giguere (groin) and defenseman Francois Beauchemin (lacerated spleen) on Dec. 26. Five days later, they also lost defenseman Chris Pronger with a broken foot. All three players are not expected to return before the All-Star Game on Jan. 25.

"We got the point in overtime, we have to learn from it and take the next step forward," said Kunitz who assisted on Getzlaf's game-tying goal.

Avalanche forward Andrew Brunette skated untouched from behind the Ducks net and backhanded the puck past Byrzgalov 4:57 into the game to put Colorado ahead early.

On his second shift in an NHL game, Ducks forward Curtis Glencross found himself with the puck alone in front of the Avalanche net after a sharp centering pass from the right sidewall by Getzlaf. He quickly snapped his first NHL shot over Budaj's right shoulder for his first NHL goal.

"The guys were saying there are not too many players who have scored on their first shot in the NHL, so I got lucky, I got a good pass" said Glencross, a native of Kindersley, Alberta, was just recalled from the Ducks' AHL affiliate in Portland, Maine, on Friday.

Wolski regained the lead for Colorado, swatting in a rebound fluttering in mid-air to Bryzgalov's right for his 16th goal of the season. That tied him with Ducks winger Dustin Penner for second among NHL rookies, behind Pittsburgh forward Evgeni Malkin.

Notes: The Ducks ran a satire of a Saturday Night Live skit on the video board before the game which led into their only Saturday night home game this season. The video featured injured Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger and Francois Beauchemin sitting around a restaurant table with fans talking about "Da Ducks." ... Brunette has now scored at least 15 goals in six straight seasons.

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