DENVER (AP) _ The Colorado Avalanche got major contributions from their new
players, and rolled past the Phoenix Coyotes.
Newcomer Matthew Barnaby scored the winning goal for the second straight
game, and another recent acquisition, Tommy Salo, had 26 saves to lead the
Avalanche to 4-1 victory Sunday.
``Some of the guys that made big impacts were the new guys _ Barnaby,
(Chris) Gratton, (Ossi) Vaananen,'' Avalanche coach Tony Granato said.
``Barnaby, you can see what he does, both the physical part and around the net.
On faceoffs alone, Gratton has a presence there. Vaananen did a great job on
defense and made some big hits. Tommy Salo was very solid in the net.
``The new guys have brought exactly what we thought they would. They've
added a lot of enthusiam to our lineup. They've added depth and they've added a
John-Michael Liles, Rob Blake and Steve Konowalchuk also scored for the
It was Colorado's fourth straight victory overall, but the Avs are only
2-5-3-1 in their last 11 at home.
Mike Comrie had the lone goal for Phoenix, which got 21 saves from Brian
Boucher and had its winless streak extended to 12 games (0-8-2-2).
Salo, making his first appearance for the Avalanche since being acquired
from Edmonton on Tuesday, stopped Comrie on a penalty shot at 17:30 of the
third period, denying him with the handle of his stick.
``I know Mike from Edmonton and I know he is a tricky one,'' Salo said.
``You never know what he is going to do. I was lucky to get a stick on it. It
was nice we got a win. I was nervous before the game. Getting the lead helped
Barnaby said the Avalanche ``make you feel comfortable and that helps the
new guys coming in. My goals aren't to come in here and score every game. My
goal is to do the little things that I do well, but at times add some timely
goals. This team has everything. I just want to be a little piece of the pie
that wins a Stanley Cup.''
Despite the loss, Phoenix coach Rick Bowness was pleased with his team's
``We played much better than the score indicated,'' he said. ``It was 1-0
going into the third period, and we had a great chance to win. Then we had
three or four glorious scoring opportunities right off the bat and didn't
score. Give Tommy Salo credit. Then we make a mistake in the neutral zone
against a veteran team that capitalized.
``The only thing hurting us right now is our inexperience, and there's
nothing anybody can do about that. We just have to let the kids play and learn
from their mistakes.''
Liles got the lone goal of the first period, scoring from deep in the slot
on a pass from Paul Kariya at 10:43.
Comrie shot wide at an open net on a wraparound try, and Salo made a glove
save off Comrie from the right circle.
There were two fights less than a minute apart in the period, one involving
Barnaby and Phoenix's Brad Ference, and the other involving the Coyotes' Andrei
Nazarov and the Avs' Peter Worrell.
Colorado's Milan Hejduk twice hit the post in a scoreless second period.
Salo had three more stops on Comrie in the period.
Barnaby, acquired from the New York Rangers on Monday, made it 2-0 at 2:46
of the third period. Konowalchuk intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and
passed to Barnaby, who scored from just inside the left circle.
Blake redirected Hejduk's shot at 15:06, but Comrie spoiled Salo's shutout
bid less than a minute later, scoring from in front of the crease at 15:47.
Gratton got an assist on the final Avalanche goal, by Konowalchuk at 17:59.