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Johnson scores tying goal in Coyotes' draw

11/18/2002

PHOENIX (AP) -- The Phoenix Coyotes don't get discouraged any
more when they fall behind, even against the Colorado Avalanche.

Mike Johnson scored the tying goal as the Coyotes rallied from a
two-goal deficit in the third period to tie the Avalanche 4-4
Sunday night.

"We talked in the third period that we had gotten down, but you
have to believe you can come back,'' Johnson said. "Even when they
scored the fourth goal, we kept pushing. If there is such a thing
as a good tie, I guess that would be it.''

The first time the teams met, Colorado came from two goals down
to beat the Coyotes 3-2 on Oct. 22.

Coyotes goalie Brian Boucher had five of his 24 saves in
overtime, when the Avalanche played the first 1:43 with a man
advantage that carried over from Claude Lemieux's tripping penalty late in the third.

"In situations like this earlier this year we just kind of laid
down and let teams finish us off,'' Boucher said.

He sprawled to his right and used his stick to bat away a
backhander by Radim Vrbata, coming in on a breakaway with about
1:40 left in overtime.

"Boucher made some big saves for us when the game was on the
line,'' coach Bob Francis said.

Patrick Roy had 27 saves for Colorado, which improved to 5-1-2-2
on the road, but was unhappy about the defensive play in his end.

"If we are going to play a run-and-gun game like we are right
now, it is OK, but it is hard for me to make a difference in the
game,'' Roy said. "It's going to be up to our stars to make the
difference for us.

"If we're going to win the 5-4 games, then we're going to have to score the big goal. I could live with that. (But) I'm not pleased. I don't think that's the way we're going to win the Stanley Cup, if we have a chance."

Joe Sakic scored his NHL-best 12th goal, Milan Hejduk had two
power-play goals and an assist, and Serge Aubin scored for the
Avalanche.

Phoenix, just 2-4-1 at home, got two goals and an assist from
Ladislav Nagy. Deron Quint scored the first goal.

Johnson, who had two assists, scored with 7:05 left in
regulation. He took a centering pass from Daniel Briere, on the
boards behind the net, and chipped it into the top corner.

Through two periods, the game was a virtual replay of Colorado's
previous win in Phoenix, when the Avalanche fell behind 2-0 before
coming back to win on Mike Keane's third-period goal.

This time, they scored three unanswered goals in the second
period, going up 3-2 on Hejduk's second goal and ninth of the
season with 11 seconds left in the period.

Sakic turned up the pressure by scoring on a rebound 1:13 into
the third, but the Coyotes responded quickly.

Nagy cut the deficit to 4-3 when he flipped the puck over a
sprawling Roy 3:04 in.

"You can't protect a lead sitting on your heels and waiting for
the other team to come at you,'' Avalanche coach Bob Hartley said.
"We're a much better hockey club than this. We made some mistakes,
and they made us pay for it.''

Quint got a billiards-style goal on a slap shot from the point
to open scoring with 9:04 left in the first.

The puck hit the post high on Roy's stick side and bounced off
his right foot before sliding in for Quint's first goal of the
season.

The Coyotes went up 2-0 when Nagy scored on a wrister from the
circle 1:59 into the second period. But the goal was negated when
Nagy took an obstruction penalty minutes later, and Hejduk scored
on the ensuing power play 5:35 in.

Aubin tied it with 4:55 left in the second, firing a wrist shot
past a screened Boucher, setting the stage for Hejduk's dramatic
period-ender.

Game notes
Hejduk had an assist and the tying goal in the teams' first
meeting. ... Roy is 23-8-4 against the Coyotes. ... Quint signed as
a free agent on Oct. 26 after spending two seasons with Columbus.
... Lemieux played despite concerns after he was hit on the left
foot by the puck Friday against Atlanta.