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Avalanche 3, Mighty Ducks 2 @NHL

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Marek Svatos is out to prove there is more to this season's NHL rookie class than just Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin.

Svatos scored his 10th goal and fifth winner with 5:58 remaining Friday night, giving the Colorado Avalanche a 3-2 victory over Anaheim and sending the Mighty Ducks to their seventh straight loss.

``Obviously, Sidney Crosby's off to a great start and he's going to be a humongous player in carrying our league, but I think Marek will start getting recognition with the goals that he's scoring,'' teammate Rob Blake said. ``He's been with our team for a couple of years and hasn't played too many games because of injuries. But the goals that he scores are key goals, and you don't find players like that very often.''

The Slovakian right wing had just 15 games of NHL experience - 11 in the playoffs - before this season. The Avalanche picked him in the 10th round of the 2001 draft. In 22 regular-season games he has 12 goals.

``He's got the Midas touch right now,'' coach Joel Quenneville said.

Milan Hejduk and Steve Konowalchuk also scored for the Avalanche. Alex Tanguay had three assists and Joe Sakic had two, giving him 1,420 career points and tying Adam Oates for 13th place on the career list.

Anaheim's losing streak is its 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. Anaheim is only 3-for-38 on the power play in their last six.

``It's very frustrating right now in this locker room,'' Teemu Selanne said. ``We had all kinds of chances, but we just can't score right now.''

Selanne connected on a power play, and Jonathan Hedstrom had an unassisted goal for the Ducks 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 only five goals in the previous six games, opened the scoring at 13:53. Sakic and Tanguay made two precise passes to set up Hejduk, who tapped the puck into a wide-open net to end an eight-game goal drought.

``They've got the ability to make plays like that in tight,'' Quenneville said. ``It was a really special play by Tangs. That's a line that we're expecting a lot out of, and I think they're aware that they needed to be better.''

Quenneville chatted with Sakic, Tanguay and Hejduk after Tuesday's game about what he expects from them and what adjustments they needed to make in their game. It produced instant results.

``For the three of us, it's been our best game in a while,'' Sakic said. ``The last game we spent chasing a lot of turnovers that we made, but tonight we tried to simplify things. When we're successful is when we get the puck in deep and then cycle and shoot the puck. We did more of that tonight.''

Anaheim tied it at 17:22 of the first period 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.

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. ... 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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