Series (Game 4 of 5)

Colorado leads 4-0

Game 1: Saturday, October 19th
Game 2: Saturday, January 4th
Game 3: Wednesday, March 19th
Sharks9:00 PM
Game 4: Thursday, March 20th
Game 5: Monday, March 31st

Sharks 0

(26-34-7, 65 pts)

Avalanche 2

(36-18-7, 91 pts)

7:00 PM ET, March 20, 2003

Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado

1 2 3 T
SJ 0 0 00
COL 1 0 12

P. Roy (Avalanche - G): Saves: 29, Save Pct.: 1.000

A. Foote (Avalanche - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

B. Battaglia (Avalanche - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Avs' Roy gets fourth shutout of season

DENVER (AP) -- Even without his usual practice, Patrick Roy was perfect.

Patrick Roy

Roy made 29 saves in his fourth shutout of the season, and 65th of his career, as the Colorado Avalanche beat the San Jose Sharks 2-0 Thursday night in a game postponed 24 hours because of a heavy snowstorm.

"We didn't skate (Wednesday) and then nothing this morning,'' Roy said. "I just wanted to have a good warmup and make sure I was ready for the start of the game. Making a few good saves at the beginning of the game put me in a groove.''

Bates Battaglia and Adam Foote scored for the Avalanche, who snapped a two-game losing streak -- their longest since mid-January.

"It was a big two points for us,'' Foote said. "Having this delay, we were kind of worried how we would start. We hung in there, and Patty made some big saves for us.''

Avalanche coach Tony Granato said his team "lost a couple of games over the weekend, and we wanted to get back on the ice as fast as we could to get back in the win column. The bottom line is our goalie played well for us like he has night after night, and we were able to capitalize on the power play and find a way to get two points.''

The game was postponed from Wednesday because of a 30-inch snowstorm that paralyzed the Denver area and much of Colorado.

The Sharks agreed to the postponement even though it meant they'll play three games in three nights. They have home games Friday and Saturday against Boston and Anaheim.

Miikka Kiprusoff, starting in goal because Evgeni Nabokov missed his third straight game with a back injury, had 18 saves and allowed both goals before being replaced by Vesa Toskala late in the game.

Sharks coach Ron Wilson said Kiprusoff "sprained his right knee at some point in the third period, and he couldn't stand. Nabokov practiced this morning and is ready to come back. We'll play all three goalies in the three games.''

Battaglia got the lone goal of the first period, scoring on a power play at 13:47 after taking a quick pass from Steven Reinprecht from inside the right circle. It was Battaglia's first goal in four games with Colorado following his trade from Carolina on March 11.

"It was like getting a monkey off my back,'' Battaglia said. "I'm glad to get that first one, and hopefully it'll start rolling in now.''

The Avalanche nearly scored a short-handed goal early in the second. San Jose had a five-on-three advantage when Colorado's Milan Hejduk came out of the penalty box, took a pass and his shot slid past Kiprusoff but stopped just short of the goal line as the net came off its moorings.

Roy withstood 16 shots in the period, including four from Teemu Selanne and a point-blank shot from Marco Sturm. The Sharks failed to capitalize on another brief five-on-three later in the period.

Foote scored his eighth goal early in the third. His long shot from the slot ricocheted off defenseman Rob Davison's skate back to Foote, whose second shot went between Kiprusoff's legs at 2:57.

Game notes

The Sharks departed San Jose on Tuesday but because of the storm, were forced to land in Colorado Springs, where the team stayed overnight. They took a bus to Denver on Wednesday. ... It's the first time an Avalanche game was been postponed in Denver because of weather, but the Avs and Sharks have had to adjust their schedule once before. Their first-round playoff series in 1999 was delayed after the shootings at Columbine High School, and the series began in San Jose instead of Denver. ... Although the game was announced as a sellout (18,007), there were only about 8,000 fans in the arena. ... Avs C Peter Forsberg returned after missing the last game with a charley horse. ... Sharks C Wayne Primeau was scratched because of a back injury. ... Before the game, fans were asked to observe a moment of silence and hope for a quick resolution to the conflict in Iraq.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press