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Avs score once in each period

2/22/2004

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- The Colorado Avalanche are known for
their offensive firepower. Instead they used tight defense to snap
their worst losing streak of the season.

Milan Hejduk netted his team-leading 27th goal, and Joe Sakic
and Paul Kariya also scored as the Avalanche made the most of a
season-low 14 shots in beating the Minnesota Wild 3-1 Sunday night.

The Avalanche scored once in each period despite not having more
than five shots in any frame and snapped their losing streak at
three games.

"Shots on goal don't count in the win-loss column," Avalanche
coach Tony Granato said. "The win was all that matters. They'd
scored a lot of goals lately, so it was important for us to limit
their chances."

Minnesota, which scored 10 goals in its previous two games,
generated more scoring chances throughout, but struggled again on
the power play. The Wild have one of the NHL's worst man-advantage
units and failed to score on five power-play chances.

"We were playing the best team in the NHL," Minnesota coach
Jacques Lemaire said. "If you give them 14 shots on net and they
probably had five (scoring) chances, thank you, we'll take that any
day."

The Wild had the upper hand offensively in the first period, but
Hejduk gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead when his rising shot beat
Dwayne Roloson's glove.

Minnesota got even at 1 in the second period when Marc Chouinard
scored for the third time in two games. After a pass from Alexandre
Daigle, Chouinard's slap shot from the right circle got past David
Aebischer.

When Avalanche defenseman Derek Morris was given simultaneous
penalties for elbowing and unsportsmanlike conduct shortly after,
Minnesota seemed poised to take the lead.

But Colorado held the Wild without a shot during the four-minute
power play and took the lead late in the second.

From the lower right corner of the rink, Sakic sent the puck to
the front of the net, where it glanced off the skate of Wild
defenseman Brad Bombardier and under Roloson's left pad.

Sakic wasn't ready to take any artistic credit for the goal he
called lucky.

"What play?" he joked. "There was no play. I was just trying
to throw it across. But you take anything you can get."

Kariya scored an unassisted goal after the Wild turned over the
puck midway through the third period.

"There's not many nights we can outshoot a team of Colorado's
caliber and come out with a loss," Wild forward Richard Park said.

Aebischer finished with 24 saves.

Game notes
Avalanche forward Peter Forsberg was scratched from the
lineup for the third consecutive game. Forsberg has been nursing a
groin injury much of the season. ... Colorado holds a 14-2-3-1
advantage in the regular-season series between the teams over four
seasons. ... Roloson has allowed three or more goals in just eight
of his 37 starts this season. ... The Avalanche had five shots in
each of the first two periods and four in the third.