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Avalanche 7, Flames 4 @NHLdotcom

DENVER (AP) - After 17 seasons, Joe Sakic knows how to put milestones and losing streaks in their proper perspectives.

Sakic scored a pair of goals to give him 561 and pass Guy Lafleur for 18th place on the all-time NHL goal scoring list. Sakic also helped Colorado end a two-game losing streak and stun the Northwest Division-leading Calgary Flames 7-4 on Tuesday night.

"It means a lot because as a kid you watched him (Lafleuer) in Montreal, doing his magic," Sakic said. "I was fortunate to room with him on the road for the first couple of years I was in Quebec."

"But right now the win means more," he said. "We lost a little ground with the losses last week and it was good to get a little back tonight."

The two goals he scored came in a five-goal second period. It also ended an 11-game goal-less streak for Sakic, who last scored on Dec. 30 at San Jose.

Antti Laaksonen had a short-handed goal for the Avalanche.

"You saw a couple of chances early that didn't go in, but I don't think Joe's confidence left him over the last 10 games when he's had a lot of chances," Colorado coach Joel Quenneville said. "It was just a matter of time until he found the back of the net."

Chuck Kobasew had his first career hat trick for the Flames, who maintained their two-point lead in the division over Vancouver.

Calgary had won the first four games of a five-game road trip.

"It was one of those games," Calgary coach Darryl Sutter said. "Hopefully, we got it out of our systems."

"I'd say we played a good first period," Sutter said.

The Flames outshot the Avalanche 13-6 in the first period and had a 44-second two-man advantage, but could only manage a 1-1 tie. Karlis Skrastins put Colorado ahead 1-0 with his fourth of the year, a slap shot from the slot at 4:14 after receiving a pass from behind the net from Ian Laperriere.

Kobasew got the equalizer for the Flames at 9:00 with a wrist shot from just inside the blue line that got past Aebischer's glove.

The Avalanche then scored five goals in the second period, two by Sakic, to put the Avalanche ahead 6-2. The Avalanche captain scored a power-play goal 23 seconds into the period, rebounding his own shot past Philippe Sauve, but Kobasew picked off a turnover inside the Colorado zone with the teams skating 4-on-4 and beat David Aebischer with a slap shot from the right circle to tie it at 2 at 4:33.

Passes from Marek Svatos to Alex Tanguay in front of the net set up Sakic's second power-play goal at 7:41. Sakic set up John-Michael Liles' shot from the left circle at 10:36 to make it 4-2.

The scoring surge ended when Laaksonen added a short-handed goal at 13:22 off a breakaway and Svatos put a one-timer in from the slot for 29th goal of the year at 16:31.

"There were breakdowns, but everybody has a job to do," Sauve said. "I didn't stop the puck and I'll take the blame for that."

Calgary made it interesting in the third period. Kobasew completed his hat trick at 3:44 and Steven Reinprecht's power-play goal at 7:29 made it 6-4. Tanguay converted a pass from Svatos with 7:40 left to complete the scoring.

"The end was not really indicative of the game tonight and I would like to focus on what we did during the game," Quenneville said. "Our special teams had a lot of good things happen. Certainly what we did on special teams was the difference tonight."

Notes: The two goaltenders, Aebischer and Sauve, fought to the side of the Colorado net, with 31 seconds left in the game. ... Calgary allowed its first short-handed goal of the year. ... The Flames are 2-4-1-0 on the second night of back-to-back games. ... D Roman Hamrlik missed his sixth games with a knee injury. ... LW Brad May skated Monday but missed a 10th game with a sprained knee. ... The win gave Aebischer eight in January and tied him with Patrick Roy for the franchise record for wins in the month.

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