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Avalanche snap three-game winless streak vs. Blues

11/23/2002

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- A solid all-around effort resulted in another
road win for the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night.

Eric Messier, Joe Sakic and Milan Hejduk scored, and Patrick Roy
made 19 saves to lead the Avalanche to a 3-1 victory over the St.
Louis Blues on Saturday night.

With the win, Colorado improved to 6-3-2 on the road.

"We played a strong game, we worked as a team and scored timely
goals,'' Avalanche coach Bob Hartley said. "I felt we controlled
the play tonight.''

The Avalanche ended a three-game winless streak (0-1-2) and
extended their winning streak in St. Louis to five games.

Pavol Demitra scored for the Blues, who haven't beaten the
Avalanche in St. Louis since Feb. 25, 2000. The loss snapped a
two-game home winning streak for St. Louis, which has lost five of
its last eight overall since it went on a nine-game winning streak.

"I thought we played a solid game and did a lot of good
things,'' Roy said. "We've realized we can't force the play, and
tonight we made the most of our chances.''

Blues coach Joel Quenneville said his team was overwhelmed by
the Avalanche.

"I thought we got outplayed physically the last two periods,''
Quenneville said. "For whatever reason, in the second we were on
our heels and letting them come at us.''

Colorado controlled the puck most of the second period, and
Messier gave the Avalanche a 2-1 lead at 7:03 of the period when he
slipped the puck past Tom Barrasso. The goal was the third of the
season for Messier, and his first since Oct. 27 against Minnesota.

"You can't give a team that much time with the puck because
they've got a lot of very, very skilled players,'' Barrasso said.
"That is a very good hockey team, just look at their lineup.''

St. Louis scored the first goal of the game at 7:05 of the
first. With Colorado's Alex Tanguay in the penalty box for
goaltender interference, Demitra redirected Al MacInnis' shot past
Roy.

Sakic tied it for Colorado at 18:50 of the second period. He was
left alone in front of Barrasso and took a pass from Adam Foote.
Sakic put the puck just beneath the crossbar for his 13th of the
season.

"We had some guys who made great plays for us tonight,'' Sakic
said.

"We got goaltending that was good enough to win most games,''
MacInnis said. "We didn't generate enough offense, and we've got
to throw pucks at the net and crash the net.''

Hejduk's goal, his 10th of the season, came on the power play at
5:16 of the third. Derek Morris gave Hejduk a cross-ice pass that
caught Barrasso out of position. Hejduk put the puck into the open
net.

"We've blown a lot of leads this year and today we played a
solid third period,'' Sakic said.

Roy has started six of Colorado's last seven games, and is 2-2-2
during that span.

Barrasso, who made his fourth start since signing as a free
agent on Nov. 4, stopped 27 shots. He is 1-2-1 on the season.

"I thought Barrasso played real well tonight,'' Sakic said.
"He was in good position and he was pretty quick out there.''

Game notes
St. Louis' attendance continues to be down from last
season. Through 10 games, the Blues only had three sellouts and
were averaging about 1,000 less fans. ... Brian Willsie and Steve
Moore made their season debuts for Colorado on Saturday. ...
Avalanche defenseman Martin Skoula has gone 19 games without a goal
despite taking 26 shots. ... Steve Dubinsky was not in uniform
Saturday for St. Louis after being called up from Worcester. ...
The Blues' line of Cory Stillman, Doug Weight and Eric Boguniecki
has scored 21 points in the team's last nine games. ... Colorado
forwards Vaclav Nedorost and Steve Reinprecht were not in uniform
due to injuries suffered in Thursday's game with Nashville.