Series (Game 4 of 4)

Colorado leads 2-1

Game 1: Sunday, November 10th
Game 2: Thursday, November 14th
Game 3: Thursday, November 21st
Game 4: Wednesday, January 1st

Avalanche 7

(15-9-5, 44 pts)

Predators 3

(10-18-4, 30 pts)

3:00 PM ET, January 1, 2003

Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee

1 2 3 T
COL 4 2 17
NSH 1 1 13

P. Forsberg (Avalanche - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 5

M. Hejduk (Avalanche - RW): Goals: 2, Assists: 3

S. Reinprecht (Avalanche - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Avalanche of points breaks Gretzky's mark

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.

Milan Hejduk

Peter Forsberg

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.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press