GAME: Colorado Avalanche (26-11-7-2) at Florida Panthers (15-19-10-3).
TIME: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. EST.
Milan Hejduk's penalty shot got the surging Colorado Avalanche back on the
winning track. The Avs will look to extend their Northwest Division lead when
they face the Florida Panthers at the Office Depot Center.
Hejduk's second goal of the game came on a penalty shot 59 seconds into
overtime Monday night, lifting the Avalanche to a 5-4 victory over the Tampa
"It was an interesting finish," Hejduk said. "Not many times you'll see a
penalty shot in overtime."
Hejduk, who also had two assists, was awarded the penalty shot after getting
tripped from behind by defenseman Brad Lukowich. It was only the third time an
NHL game ended on a penalty shot in overtime.
Hejduk also scored on a penalty shot Jan. 11 at Chicago. He has the last two
penalty-shot goals in the NHL.
Colorado also got goals from Joe Sakic, Martin Skoula and Alex Tanguay, who
added two assists. The Avalanche have lost just twice in their last 11 games
(9-1-0-1), and Monday's victory moved them two points ahead of Vancouver in the
Northwest. Colorado's four-game winning streak came to an end Saturday with a
2-1 home loss to San Jose.
The Canucks, who lost 3-2 to Dallas on Monday, host Tampa Bay on Wednesday
Tanguay has four goals and 12 points during a seven-game point streak, and
the Avalanche need his production because of the injury problems of Peter
Forsberg, who missed his second straight game with a groin injury. Forsberg has
sat out 24 games this season because of health problems, and his status will be
determined on a daily basis.
The Avs' David Aebischer continued his outstanding play with 31 saves
against the Lightning. He's 7-1-0-1 in his last nine games.
The Avalanche head southeast across Florida for the second game of a
four-game road trip, and will face a Panthers club that has won just once in
its last four (1-2-0-1). The Panthers are coming off a 2-1 overtime loss to St.
Louis on Monday night.
Pavol Demitra beat Roberto Luongo with a low wrist shot 48 seconds into the
extra period to give the Blues the victory at the Office Depot Center.
Olli Jokinen scored for Florida, which has one victory in its last 12 games
against St. Louis (1-9-2).
"They've been on the top of the league for a number of years now," Luongo
said. "That's not an easy team to beat whether we're at home or on the road."
Despite its recent struggles, Florida is only seven points behind
first-place Tampa Bay in the weak Southeast Division. The Panthers have two
more games left on a four-game homestand, and are 9-8-5-2 at home, compared to
6-11-5-1 on the road.
Avalanche enforcer Peter Worrell, acquired from the Panthers in July, will
face his former team for the first time Wednesday. Worrell played his first six
seasons with Florida.