Skip to main content

Avalanche 6, Coyotes 3 @NHLdotcom

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -The Colorado Avalanche could be riding rookie Paul Stastny right into the post-season.

Stastny and Joe Sakic each scored two goals, and the surging Avalanche inched closer to the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference playoffs with a 6-3 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday night.

Sakic's goals were his 29th and 30th, the ninth time in his career that he has reached 30 goals in a season. Stastny extended his NHL rookie record by scoring in his 20th consecutive game. He has 25 goals this season.

"Over the course of the year, he's got really good, a lot better," Sakic said of his young teammate. "Right after the start you could see such a smart hockey player who can see the game. Obviously he's getting a lot more comfortable as the year's gone on, and he's going to have a tremendous career."

With the victory and Calgary's loss to Minnesota, the Avalanche pulled within six points of the Flames for the final Western Conference playoff spot.

"It's been a very effective couple of days for us," Colorado coach Joe Quenneville said. "Now the number's more realistic. That's still our goal. We stillhave to play well and worry abobut what we can control."

Colorado is 7-0-1 in its last eight games to climb back into the postseason race. The Avalanche play San Jose in Denver on Sunday.

Coach Wayne Gretzky's Coyotes lost for the seventh time in eight games.

The game was tied at 3 after two periods, then Ben Guite put Colorado ahead for good with an unassisted goal, a breakaway flip shot to the right of Phoenix goalie Curtis Joseph with 16:23 to play. It was Guite's second goal of the season and first since being recalled from Albany of the AHL on Jan. 26.

"I tried to drag it a little bit to get him (Joseph) moving," Guite said. "He had his angles pretty good. I dragged it, and he probably opened up just a little bit and I put it up high."

The Avalanche clinched it with two late goals in a 25-second span. Brad Richardson's wrist shot, also to the right of Joseph, made it 5-3 with 2:16 remaining. Seconds after the subsequent faceoff, Stastny got his second goal of the night with 1:51 to play.

Stastny also extended his rookie record for points in consecutive games on the road at 15.

He scored the first goal of the night as Colorado shot to a 2-0 lead, but the Coyotes came back with three straight to go ahead. Jeremy Roenick scored the go-ahead goal on a tap-in after Daniel Carcillo's shot bounced off the elbow of goalie Peter Budaj. It was Roenick's eighth goal of the season.

Colorado needed just 25 seconds to tie it at 3, Sakic scoring on an assist from Andrew Brunette.

The Avalanche looked to be out of the postseason for the first time in 12 seasons just a couple of weeks ago, but their late charge - including a 3-2 home victory over Calgary on Wednesday - has them back in the fight.

Sakic also had an assist on Stastny's first goal.

Shane Doan scored his team-high 25th goal of the season for Phoenix.

Gretzky didn't seem too upset with another loss by his mostly young team.

"We had some chances," he said. "They got that fifth goal and that broke our backs, but as far as work ethic and our effort, I was proud of how hard our guys worked."

Doan, though, was more critical.

"Third period at home in a tie, you expect to win that," he said. "We've got to play a full 60 minutes. We can't play 50 or whatever we tend to play right now. ... We've got guys who are playing for jobs, and I think that's just as important as the playoffs. Our personal prid has to account for something, and getting beat every night is unacceptable."

Budaj - 8-0-1 in his last nine outings - had 30 saves, to 25 for Joseph.

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.