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COLORADO 4, EDMONTON 1

11/29/2003

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -- Teemu Selanne has a tough time deciding
whether Joe Sakic or Peter Forsberg is the Colorado Avalanche's top
center.

"I think Joe has played his best hockey with Peter out, but
they're also great together," Selanne said. "It's hard to
describe what it's like to play with the two best centers in the
world."

Sakic had a goal and two assists to lead the Avalanche to a 4-1
win over the Edmonton Oilers on Friday night.

Forsberg has missed the last 12 games with a groin injury.
Colorado currently has half-dozen injured players, including Paul
Kariya, and has lost 118 man-games to injury -- the most in team
history at this point in the season.

But led by Sakic, who has 18 points in his last 15 games -- seven
goals, 11 assists -- and NHL scoring leader Alex Tanguay, who has 31
points, the Avalanche are 5-2-0 in their last seven games and
8-2-0-1 in 11.

"We know we have a unbelievable amount of injuries, but we
still have a lot of scoring power," said Selanne, who had a goal
and an assist against the Oilers. "That's where the depth comes
in. If you take even one of those guys out of any other lineup,
it's huge.

"But I can't wait to see these (injured) guys play," he said.
"When we have a healthy team, it'll be a big step."

David Aebischer made 40 saves for the victory Friday night. Dan
Hinote and Martin Skoula also scored for the Avalanche.

"It was fun for me," said Aebischer, who gloved Cory Cross'
shot late in the first period and withstood several Edmonton
flurries. "I saw a lot of shots. I was busy. Edmonton played well
and crashed the net and had a lot of chances."

Marc-Andre Bergeron broke Aebischer's shutout in the third
period for the Oilers, who are 0-3-1 in four games after posting
four straight victories.

"When you get 41 shots on net, something is wrong when you only
get one goal," Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said.

"We can stand here and think, `It's Colorado and they have a
talent-laden team that comes in and beats us 4-1.' You can
rationalize it that way. But we've got to start winning games and
they were a beatable team tonight."

Sakic opened the scoring 29 seconds into the second period, his
eighth of the season and third in as many games. He circled the
net, took a shot at Ty Conklin, then dug out his own rebound and
tucked it in with a crowd in front of the Oilers net.

Selanne made it 2-0 with a power-play goal at 11:03 of the
second.

With the Avalanche patiently whipping precise passes around
Edmonton's zone, Selanne had time to retrieve his dropped stick
from the corner and re-direct Sakic's pass behind Conklin, his
seventh.

Hinote's short-handed goal made it 3-0 at 8:44 of the third.
Blake, who also earned an assist on Sakic's goal, squeezed past
Mike York along the boards and centered it to Hinote, who beat
Conklin up high, his second.

Bergeron scored on the same power play, at 9:35, his fourth.
Shawn Horcoff won a draw back to Bergeron, who ripped a slap shot
past Aebischer from inside the blue line.

Skoula made it 4-1 with a shot that bounced over Conklin and
fell into the net at 12:59 for his first of the season. Sakic
assisted on the goal.

Adam Oates, signed to a one-year deal by Edmonton as a free
agent Nov. 17, made his debut for the Oilers.

Game notes
Edmonton played with defenseman Eric Brewer, out day-to-day
with a groin injury. Bobby Allen was recalled from AHL Toronto but
didn't dress. ... Radek Dvorak failed to earn a point Friday,
snapping his scoring streak at seven games (four goals, five
assists). ... Edmonton and Colorado split the first two games of
their six-game season series, with the Oilers winning 6-3 at home
on Oct. 18 and the Avalanche winning 6-1 at home on Oct. 23. ...
Rob Blake had two assists and Adam Foote had one to give Avalanche
defensemen 58 points this season, two more the Vancouver Canucks
total for the NHL lead.