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GAME: Colorado Avalanche (3-3-1) at Vancouver Canucks (6-1-1).

TIME: Saturday, 10 p.m. EDT.

Todd Bertuzzi is tired of revisiting his blindside punch of Colorado forward Steve Moore.

He's more than likely to be reminded of it when he faces the Avalanche for the first time since the ugly incident as the streaking Vancouver Canucks try to remain unbeaten at home.

Bertuzzi punched Moore in the head from behind while skating at center ice in a 9-2 Colorado victory on March 8, 2004. The 30-year-old, 245-pound winger then jumped on Moore's back and drove him face first into the ice, knocking him unconscious.

Bertuzzi, who was suspended for 17 months but missed only 20 NHL games because of the lockout, has discussed the attack publicly three times and wants the talk to stop.

"I've discussed it before, and this team is moving on and I'm moving on and we're just concentrating on the game tomorrow and the two points we need," Bertuzzi said after practice Friday.

"It's a team we've always had spirited rivalries with. They're exciting games to play in."

Moore hasn't played since the incident, sustaining three broken vertebrae in his neck, a concussion and other injuries. The unrestricted free agent has said the Avalanche plan to sign him to a new contract once doctors clear him to play again.

A lawsuit filed against Bertuzzi was tossed out on Oct. 13 by a judge who said the case has no standing in Colorado.

Bertuzzi, who has amassed a team-high 17 penalty minutes, would rather focus on the Canucks' hot start to the new season.

"I'm coming out to play hockey the way we play hockey and the score is the only thing that really matters, and that's what we're focused on," Bertuzzi said.

Vancouver defenseman Ed Jovanovski has been a big catalyst during the Canucks' winning streak, with six points in that stretch. Jovanovski had a goal and an assist in a 3-2 victory over Phoenix on Thursday as the Canucks improved to 4-0 at home and extended their winning streak to five games.

John-Michael Liles scored twice as Colorado posted a 7-1 victory at Edmonton on Friday. The Avalanche ended a three-game losing streak in which they blew three-goal leads on two occasions.

It was a successful season debut for Milan Hejduk, who missed the first six games after arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. The two-time All-Star scored two goals and added an assist on Liles' second tally.

Rookie goaltender Peter Budaj will get the start for Colorado on Saturday. Budaj has a 1.92 goals-against-average with a win and an overtime loss in two starts.

STANDINGS (through Oct. 20): Avalanche - 5 points, 5th place, 8 PB, Northwest Division. Canucks - 13 points, 1st place, Northwest Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Avalanche - Marek Svatos, 5 goals; Alex Tanguay, 8 assists; Liles, 10 points; Ian Laperriere, 24 PIM. Canucks - Markus Naslund, 6 goals and 10 points; Jovanovski, 7 assists; Bertuzzi, 17 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 20): Avalanche - Power play: 22.5 percent (9 for 40), 7th in NHL. Penalty killing: 87.2 percent (34 for 39), 7th (tied). Canucks - Power play: 18.5 percent (12 for 65), 11th. Penalty killing: 76.2 percent (32 for 42), 27th.

GOALTENDERS: Avalanche - Budaj (1-0-1, 0, 1.92); David Aebischer (2-3-0, 0 SO, 3.64 GAA). Canucks - Dan Cloutier (4-1-1, 0, 2.98); Alex Auld (2-0-0, 0, 2.00).

2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Tied, 2-2-2.

LAST MEETING: March 8, 2004; Avalanche, 9-2. At Vancouver, Hejduk had three goals and Colorado scored five times in the first period to chase Cloutier.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Avalanche - 2-1-0 on the road; Canucks - 4-0-0 at home.

Associated Press

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