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Mighty Ducks 4, Avalanche 3, OT @NHLdotcom

DENVER (AP) - For the first time in a while, Ilya Bryzgalov wasn't impeccable.

He didn't have to be - because Joffrey Lupul was.

Anaheim and its rookie goalie are still perfect against Colorado thanks to Lupul, whose three goals in regulation and one in overtime gave the Ducks a 4-3 win on Tuesday night and a 3-0 lead in their Western Conference playoff series.

Lupul became the first player in NHL playoff history to cap a four-goal game with an overtime score.

"They just went in tonight," he said. "I got a couple of good passes. And some breaks."

Bryzgalov's shutout streak ended at three games, but the Ducks are still a win away from advancing to the conference finals.

The Ducks can complete the sweep Thursday night at the Pepsi Center. The Avalanche will try to join the 1975 New York Islanders and the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs as the only teams tin win series after losing the first three games.

"Obviously, it's slim," Avs defenseman Rob Blake said of Colorado's chances. "We're not too worried about winning four games in a row. We've got to win one. We understand our effort needs to be greater in the next game because they matched it (tonight) and beat us again."

Colorado had won its last six playoff overtime games, tops in the NHL and a franchise record, including three over Dallas in the first round of this year's playoffs.

After both teams killed a power play in the extra period, Dustin Penner stole the puck from Patrice Brisebois in the Colorado zone and fed Lupul, who added to his first career hat trick with a shot from between the circles that beat Avs goaltender Jose Theodore at 16:30 of overtime.

"It is the best feeling I've ever had," Lupul said of his game-winner.

Theodore said he had a good look at the shot but couldn't react in time as it bounced off the stick of Avs defenseman Brett Clark and slid underneath his legs and into the net.

"It hit the stick in front of me. If not, it's right in my chest," Theodore said.

Lupul said he hadn't scored four times in a game since junior hockey.

"He's making a name for himself, four goals," Avs forward Ian Laperriere said. "Good for him, I guess. Bad for us."

The Avalanche took a 2-1 lead on Jim Dowd's short-handed goal early in the third period, but Colorado was lax on defense and allowed Lupul to score his second and third goals less than two minutes apart.

Blake got caught pinching in on the blue line and Alex Tanguay's turnover led to a 2-on-1 breakaway and Lupul tied it with his second goal at 8:54. He gave Anaheim a 3-2 led at 10:40 with a slap shot from between the circles.

The deflated Avs fought back to tie it at 3 on Blake's slap shot at 13:35.

Bryzgalov allowed a goal for the first time in 249 minutes, 15 seconds when he gave up a goal late in the first period. The rookie goalie's streak is the second-longest in NHL playoff history, trailing only George Hainsworth's 270:08, set in 1930 for Montreal.

After posting three straight shutouts, including two against the Avalanche in Anaheim, Bryzgalov finally gave up a goal when Dan Hinote tapped the puck past him with 26 seconds left in the first period, giving Colorado a 1-0 lead.

The Avs wanted to put more bodies in front of Bryzgalov and they did.

"They put a lot more traffic. Sometimes I saw three or four players in front of me. It was tougher for me to see the puck," said Bryzgalov, who made 26 saves.

The 25-year-old Russian was closing in on his 13th straight perfect period when the Avs finally scored.

He had stopped 99 straight shots dating to the Ducks' Game 7 win at Calgary in the Western Conference quarterfinals before Andrew Brunette got control of the puck behind the net and with one arm slid it to the left side of the crease to Hinote.

The Avs, who didn't get off a single shot in a 5-on-3 advantage that lasted more than a minute, acted as though they'd won another overtime game. It was, after all, their first goal since April 30.

The celebration was short-lived, however, as Lupul tied it at 9:02 of the second period with a slap shot after the Ducks controlled the puck in the Colorado zone for more than a minute, even managing a line change during that time.

The Avs found it hard to be happy about finally scoring on Bryzgalov when Lupul broke free so often.

"It's frustrating, but obviously we didn't do enough good things to win the game," Laperriere said. "I thought the guys played really well tonight from goalie on, and still we didn't find a way to win. We just need to be more desperate next game."

Notes: Bryzgalov stopped the first seven shots he faced, passing two other goaltenders from the 1930s: Dave Kerr of the New York Rangers in 1937 (248:35) and Normie Smith of Detroit (248:32) in 1936. ... Colorado, the fourth highest-scoring team in the NHL, was shut out just twice in the regular season. ... The Avs were 0-for-8 on the power play.

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