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Avalanche of points breaks Gretzky's mark

1/2/2003

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Peter Forsberg replaced Wayne Gretzky in
the record book of the Nashville Predators, and Colorado teammate
Milan Hejduk matched the Great One.

Forsberg had a goal and five assists, and Hejduk added two goals
and three assists as the Colorado Avalanche beat the Predators 7-3
Wednesday.

On Feb. 15, 1999, Gretzky, playing for the New York Rangers, had
five points, all assists, against the Predators.

Forsberg was happy with the production and unmoved by the
history.

"I've been getting a lot of points lately,'' he said. "I think
the whole team has been playing better. We feel like if we work
hard that we have a good chance of winning a game.''

Nashville coach Barry Trotz has seen Forsberg dominate the
Predators before. On Nov. 14 against the Predators, Forsberg had a
goal and two assists in a 3-1 victory.

"He is a good player, there is no question about it,'' Trotz
said. "He's one of the best in the business when he is on like he
was in this game. It was his day.''

Steven Reinprecht, Mike Keane, Adam Foote and Rob Blake also
scored for the Avalanche.

Colorado goaltender Patrick Roy started the game but did not
come out for the second period because of the flu. He was replaced
by David Aebischer, who gave up a goal to Adam Hall on a rebound at
2:46.

The Avalanche began the rout when Reinprecht scored on Tomas
Vokoun at 3:09 of the first period. Clarke Wilm tied the game for
the Predators at 5:21, but Colorado got three more goals and led
4-1 after one period.

Foote took a pass from Forsberg and beat Vokoun at 6:24. Keane
shot the puck high, and it bounced off Vokoun's back and into the
net at 9:32 for a short-handed goal. Hejduk beat Vokoun to his
glove side on a power play at 13:19.

"We controlled the puck better,'' Hejduk said. "We created a
lot of scoring chances. Lately we have been scoring a lot of goals.
It's fun to play right now.''

Vokoun was replaced after Hejduk's goal by Brian Finley, who
made his NHL debut. He stopped 10 of 13 shots, but gave up three
goals.

"We came out and we were really flat,'' Nashville's Scott
Walker said. "Our team can't afford to be flat, that's for sure.
We don't have enough skill to come out and play that way.''

Leading 4-2, the Avalanche got goals from Blake and Forsberg 21
seconds apart midway through the second period.

Hejduk scored his second goal of the game and 18th of the season
in the final period.

"Peter and Hejduk both had good games,'' Colorado coach Tony
Granato said. "A lot of our skilled guys made some great offensive
plays.

"Nashville has been playing real well. They had only lost once
in their last five games. We know they are a hardworking team that
can be dangerous. Our fifth goal was a big one. It took the air out
of them.''

Nashville's Andy Delmore closed out the scoring with a
power-play goal.

Game notes
All of Delmore's 11 goals this season have been on the
power play. ... Blake has eight points (four goals, four assists)
in his last six games. ... Nashville has played five straight games
on New Year's Day with a record of 1-3-1. ... Vokoun has started
all four games against the Avalanche this season and has a 1-2-1
record.