DENVER (AP) _ The Colorado Avalanche recently started doing the things that
would end their monthlong winless streak at home.
On Friday night, the skid finally ended at eight games with a 5-1 win over
the San Jose Sharks.
``I think the way we have played the last couple of games we've been playing
better,'' said Alex Tanguay, who had a goal. ``We've been out working teams and
I think that's the way we want to play.''
Joe Sakic had a goal and two assists and Milan Hejduk added a goal and an
assist for Colorado.
``Going down the stretch we need to win games to compete for first in the
division and first in the conference,'' Colorado coach Tony Granato said. ``We
are still in the hunt for that and it is important that we put together a bunch
Sakic now has four goals and three assists in his past two games after
having only four goals in the previous 14 home games.
``Sakic has been one of the most consistent players in the league hasn't
he,'' defensemen Adam Foote said.
Steve Moore and Peter Worrell added goals and John-Michael Liles had two
assists for Colorado, 0-4-3-1 before the win.
The Avalanche increased their lead in the Northwest Division to three points
over Vancouver, who lost to Detroit.
Alexander Korolyuk scored for the Sharks, who had won five of six.
Goaltender Evgeni Nabokov allowed three goals before being pulled in the second
period and had his five-game winning streak snapped.
``Once we got back into it our goalies weren't having their best night,''
San Jose coach Ron Wilson said. ``You're going to need big saves and they
Wilson had other concerns as the Sharks lost Marco Sturm to a season-ending
broken left leg at 11:26 of the first period. Sturm was rode feet first into
the boards behind the Colorado net by Adam Foote.
``I looked away,'' Shark Vincent Damphousse said. ``You're talking about the
most dangerous play in hockey where guys are going a hundred miles an hour
going in to touch up the puck.''
Although outplayed and outshot 11-7 in the first period, Colorado led 2-0 on
goals by Moore and Hejduk. Nabokov stopped a shot from the right point by
Liles, but Moore put in the rebound at 2:17.
Hejduk tapped in a pass from Sakic for his 31st of the year at 6:22.
Colorado added two goals in the second period. Tanguay skated in alone on
Nabokov to score at 5:20. After the Sharks pulled Nabokov at 5:54, Sakic scored
a fluke goal off replacement Vesa Toskala at 8:06. Sakic's centering pass from
behind the net went off the back of Toskala's left skate and into the net.
Korolyuk made it 4-1 for the Sharks, deflecting in a shot from the right
point by Alyn McCauley at 9:34 of the second period.
Worrell scored his first goal in 23 games in the third period with a
backhander off the near boards that went between Toskala's pads.