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Avs' winless streak stretches to six

12/27/2003

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- After earning a point in St. Louis, the
slumping Colorado Avalanche were in a good mood.

Adam Foote's goal at 9:27 of the third period lifted the
Avalanche into a 3-3 tie with the Blues on Friday night. Colorado
is still winless in its last six games (0-3-3).

"It's a little sad that we were not able to get the extra
point, but on the road against a tough team, that's a pretty big
point," goalie David Aebischer said.

The Blues are 12-2-3-0 at home and unbeaten in their last eight
games (5-0-3-0) at Savvis Center, where a season-high 20,045
attended Friday's game.

Foote scored on a wrist shot after getting a pass from Alex
Tanguay.

"I was kind of surprised with how the lane opened up," Foote
said. "I thought I was going to have to shoot a lot sooner. I was
glad I was able to work in."

The failure to hold the lead after two periods did not upset St.
Louis coach Joel Quenneville.

"I would prefer to win, but I was not unhappy with how we
played in the third period," Quenneville said.

St. Louis scored twice on its first four shots of the second
period to take a 3-2 lead.

"We took some penalties in the second period and they were able
to get back in the game," Colorado coach Tony Granato said.
"Other than that, I was pretty pleased with how we played. I
thought it was a fun hockey game."

The Blues tied it at 2 on a power-play goal by Pavol Demitra at
7:43. From just inside the blue line, Keith Tkachuk passed to
Demitra, who was skating into the left circle. Demitra one-timed
the puck by Aebischer, who has allowed more than one goal only
three times in his last nine starts.

It was a surprise start for Tkachuk, who missed the last three
games with an infection in his ankle. Tkachuk cut the tongue in his
skate to relieve some of the pressure and that allowed him to play.

"Once you get in the atmosphere of a game, especially against a
team like Colorado, it takes pressure off your injury," Tkachuk
said.

In the slot, Christian Backman took a pass from Doug Weight, who
got the puck from Tkachuk. Backman faked left and went right and
scored his second goal of the season at 15:24. Weight returned to
play after aggravating his groin injury Monday in Detroit and
sitting out Tuesday's game in Chicago.

In the game's opening 90 seconds the Avalanche had four shots on
goal. But St. Louis outshot Colorado 11-10 in the period that ended
with the Avalanche leading 2-1.

Colorado scored 46 seconds into the game when Milan Hejduk
lifted a wrist shot from the right faceoff circle over the shoulder
of goalie Chris Osgood. Joe Sakic assisted on the goal.

"We started off slow and they took it to us," Tkachuk said.

The Avalanche made it 2-0 at 11:50 on a power-play goal by
Sakic, his 15th. Sakic has 16 points (seven goals) in his last nine
games.

A fight between the Blues' Steve McLaren and Colorado's Peter
Worrell at 12:29 of the period sparked St. Louis. The Blues cut the
lead to 2-1 when Eric Nickulas scored at 16:41.

"I think the guys were encouraging him and it was almost like
we scored a goal," Quenneville said about McLaren's fight. "He
did his job. He took a heavyweight, a guy as big as there is in the
league."

Game notes
This was the seventh consecutive season the Blues hosted a
game on Dec. 26. St. Louis is 3-3-1-0 in those games. Last year,
the Blues also played Colorado on Dec. 26, winning 3-2. ...
Colorado has won just two games in December. The Blues are 7-2-3
this month. ... Colorado's Peter Forsberg, last season's MVP,
missed his 19th consecutive game. He has not played since Nov. 9
because of an abdominal injury.