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Lapointe, Havlat spark Hawks' win over Avalanche

DENVER (AP) -- If it's not one Martin beating the opposition,
it's the other.

Martin Lapointe scored a pair of goals during the Chicago
Blackhawks' 5-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Monday night.

The other Martin -- Martin Havlat -- had a good game, too,
assisting on a pair of goals. He now has six goals and six assists
through five games.

With Havlat off to a torrid start, teams are keeping a close
watch on him. That opens up things for players like Lapointe, who
scored the winning goal early in the third period.

"Marty had a great game for us," Havlat said. "That was a
great goal."

Lapointe scored from just above the right circle when he slipped
a shot past Jose Theodore and into the right side of the net.

"During practices I try to shoot the puck as hard as I can,"
Lapointe said.

The strategy worked. Yet it's a shot that Theodore usually
stops.

"I didn't think that [Lapointe] was going to shoot that
quick," Theodore said. "I thought he was going to walk in, but he
beat me. It's no excuse, I should have had that."

Colorado coach Joel Quenneville won't argue.

"Our goaltending wasn't good tonight," he said. "That was a
tough one to give up. Jose will be better next time, but he had a
tough night."

Patrick Sharp scored an empty-net goal with a second remaining
in the game.

The Blackhawks squandered a three-goal lead when Patrice
Brisebois tied the game at 3 after a feed from Milan Hejduk, who
was behind the net, early in the third period. Hejduk two assists.

Giving up a three-goal lead was disconcerting for the
Blackhawks, but it worked out fine in the end. They gave up a 2-0
lead in a loss to St. Louis on Saturday.

"It would have been a shame to let this one get away,"
Lapointe said.

Chicago rediscovered its power-play touch Monday, going 3-for-10
against a Colorado team that came into the game ranked second in
penalty killing. The Blackhawks were 4-for-19 on the power play
before Monday. Not that coach Trent Yawney was worried.

"It's easy to jump on the power play," Yawney said. "Power
plays are cyclic."

The Blackhawks scored their first three goals on power plays.
Lapointe and Lasse Kukkonen scored 44 seconds apart in the last
minute of the first period and Radim Vrbata added a second-period
goal, which gave Chicago a 3-0 lead.

Joe Sakic countered 2:24 later with a wrist shot over Nikolai
Khabibulin. Tyler Arnason scored with 2:58 left in the second to
make it a 3-2 game.

It was a small measure of revenge for Arnason, who was drafted
by Chicago in 1998. He spent more than three seasons with the
Blackhawks before being traded. Arnason also had two assists.

The Avalanche players were in a sour mood after the game. They
didn't take satisfaction in the late comeback.

"We're not happy," Ian Laperriere said. "We are not happy at
all."

Game notes
The Avalanche's 487-game sellout streak ended Monday night.
It was the longest recorded string in NHL history. The last time
Colorado didn't have a sellout was Nov. 1, 1995, against Calgary.
... Sakic scored his 576th career goal and now has 1,493 points.
... The Avalanche were averaging 36.5 shots per game, second-most
in the league, but took only 22 against Chicago. ... Khabibulin had
22 saves and Theodore finished with 30 saves.