DENVER (AP) -- After the terrible start the Colorado Avalanche
had this season, they can't complain too much about gaining ground
on division-leader Vancouver.
Peter Forsberg scored for the third time in two games as the
Avalanche tied the Phoenix Coyotes 2-2 Monday night to inch closer
to an NHL-record ninth division title.
Colorado blew a two-goal lead, but still moved to three
points of Vancouver in the Northwest Division. Colorado trailed the Canucks by as much as 13 points just two months ago,
but is 17-2-3-2 its last 24 games and 8-0-2-1 in its last 11
''We definitely did not play well in the third or at least not
well enough to get the two points,'' said Colorado coach Tony
Granato, whose team has not lost at home in regulation since Jan.
''The positive thing is that we got a point. We let one slip
way, but that was a team over there that is fighting for their
Phoenix, 8-3-2 its last 13 games, scored twice in the third
period to pull to seven points of Edmonton for eighth in the
Western Conference. The Coyotes came back from three goals down to
beat San Jose 6-4 on Saturday.
''We needed something out of here,'' Phoenix coach Bob Francis
said. ''It was make or break and the game ended the way I thought
Forsberg opened the scoring with 9:38 left in the second,
redirecting a pass from Alex Tanguay for his 25th goal.
Tanguay took a shot that bounced back to him along the right
boards. He centered a pass to Forsberg, who tilted the tip of his
stick to beat Sean Burke from a tough angle.
Forsberg's goal extended his point streak to nine games.
Steven Reinprecht made it 2-0 on a power play just 1:59 later,
flipping in his own rebound from the edge of the crease for his
15th of the season.
But after struggling most of the first two periods, Phoenix cut
the lead to one 36 seconds into the third when Shane Doan slipped
in a rebound between Patrick Roy's pads.
Roy stopped Branko Radivojevic's shot from the right circle, but
Doan knocked the puck out of the air for his 20th goal.
''They were flat until they got that goal,'' Colorado defenseman
Adam Foote said. ''Then they got some jump, they were in our face
and they had some new life.''
Phoenix had a goal waved off because of a penalty midway through
the period, but tied it just more than a minute later on the ensuing
Brian Savage got the goal, his fourth, after gloving a shot by
Deron Quint, dropping it just outside the crease and punching it
past Roy with 6:59 left.
The Avalanche thought the goal shouldn't have counted because
Savage closed his hand around the puck.
''I think we have the right to be mad about that goal,'' said
Roy, who stopped 23 shots. ''He brought the puck from one side to
the other side and I thought it looked worse on the ice from where
After allowing six goals in the first period of its last two
games, Phoenix spent most of the opening period against Colorado in
its own zone.
The Coyotes had just one shot in the first 12 minutes and three
in the period, escaping with a 0-0 tie only because the Avalanche
kept missing the net with their shots.
Amonte was traded to Philadelphia for two draft choices and minor-leaguer before the game. Nazarov sat out after the NHL suspended
him indefinitely for a match penalty after he elbowed San Jose's
Dan McGillis on Saturday.
''We started a little tentative,'' Francis said. ''I'm not so
sure that was the trade of Tony or the opponent. We wanted to come
out in the first period in good shape and not put everybody to
The Coyotes then made another trade after the game, sending
center Daniel Briere and a third-round choice in the 2004 draft to
the Buffalo Sabres for center Chris Gratton and a fourth-round choice next year.
Colorado's Bryan Marchment played his first game since being
traded from San Jose on Saturday and he didn't take long to live up
to his hard-hitting reputation.
Paired with Martin Skoula on Colorado's third line, Marchment
dumped Phoenix's Mike Johnson with a cross-check midway through the
first that set off a skirmish in front of the Coyotes bench.
Forsberg has five goals and 11 assists during his point
streak. ... Phoenix defenseman Brad Ference played for the first time since
being traded from Florida for Darcy Hordichuk on Saturday. ...
Tanguay has at least a point in 16 of 17 games. ... Doan has six
points in two games. ... Roy got a gross misconduct penalty
after the game for arguing with an official.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: Pepsi Center Location: Denver, Colorado
Referees: Mark Faucette, Brad Watson Linesmen: Mike Cvik, Vaughan Rody
Attendance: 18,007 (100.0% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
No scoring this period
Peter Forsberg (25)
Assist: Alex Tanguay
Steve Reinprecht (15)
(Power Play) Assists: Radim Vrbata, Martin Skoula
Shane Doan (20)
Assists: Branko Radivojevic, Danny Markov
Brian Savage (5)
(Power Play) Assists: Deron Quint, Shane Doan