Series (Game 4 of 4)

Colorado leads 2-0

Game 1: Thursday, October 24th
Game 2: Sunday, November 17th
Game 3: Monday, March 10th
Game 4: Saturday, March 29th

Coyotes 1

(30-35-4, 73 pts)

Avalanche 6

(39-18-8, 99 pts)

6:00 PM ET, March 29, 2003

Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado

1 2 3 T
ARI 1 0 01
COL 3 2 16

R. Hahl (Avalanche - C): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

G. de Vries (Avalanche - D): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

P. Forsberg (Avalanche - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

Avalanche take control with three first-period goals

DENVER (AP) -- For the second straight game, the Colorado Avalanche got production from an unexpected source: their third and fourth lines.

Greg de Vries and Riku Hahl each scored a career-high two goals to lead the Avalanche past the Phoenix Coyotes 6-1 on Saturday.

"You can't be a two-line team going into the playoffs," de Vries said. "It's important that we get four lines scoring."

Avalanche coach Tony Granato said his third and fourth lines "have been making contributions, whether or not they are on the score sheet. They deserve some goals because they play so hard, because they go to the net, because they do the little things."

"For the past few days, I've been saying it takes 20 players to win."

The Avalanche took control in the first period, scoring three goals in just 2 minutes, 15 seconds to erase a 1-0 deficit.

Peter Forsberg had two assists, giving him 99 points on the season -- second best in the NHL behind Vancouver's Markus Naslund.

Colorado raised its point total to 99 and moved ahead of St. Louis into the No. 4 position in the Western Conference. St. Louis, which lost to Detroit 6-2 on Saturday, has 97 points.

"We don't want to scoreboard watch, but when you can pull in front of a team, it's a good thing," Granato said.

Patrick Roy had 27 saves for the surging Avalanche, 22-4-3-3 in their last 32 games.

"We're playing with a lot of confidence right now," Roy said. "Even if we're down by one goal, we stay composed and we play the same hockey. We play simple but we play smart."

As for his own play, Roy said, "At the beginning of the season, I'm not saying I was on a roller-coaster ride, but pretty close. Now it's good to be solid every night."

Phoenix's Zac Bierk _ starting in goal in place of Sean Burke, who missed his fifth straight game because of a groin strain _ gave up five goals on 23 shots before being replaced by Brian Boucher in the second period.

"There were a couple of weak goals,'' Bierk said, ``and you can't give up those kinds of goals to that team. When you give up weak ones, that team will bury you."

Phoenix has lost its last five games.

Branko Radivojevic got Phoenix on the scoreboard first with a goal at 8:08, tipping in a rebound of Paul Mara's shot on a power play.

Hahl tied it at 13:14, shooting through defenseman Danny Markov's legs from just inside the blue line.

Another long shot from Martin Skoula made it 2-1 at 14:46. Skoula's power-play goal was set up by a pass from Forsberg.

De Vries then took a pass from Steven Reinprecht and scored from the slot at 15:29.

"Three quick goals and that was really it," Avalanche captain Joe Sakic said.

Milan Hejduk scored his 44th goal just 22 seconds into the second period, again on a power play. Hejduk passed to Forsberg, who skated toward the goal and then passed back to Hejduk in the left circle.

After Colorado killed off Phoenix's four-minute power play following Bryan Marchment's double minor for high-sticking, de Vries scored from just inside the left circle at 13:20.

At that point, Bierk gave way to Boucher.

Hahl scored his second goal at 4:33 of the third period. Serge Aubin won a faceoff in the left circle, tipping the puck to Hahl for a quick score.

Game notes
Colorado is 12-0-2-1 in its last 15 home games and matched a franchise record by registering points in each game. ... During its five-game losing streak, Phoenix has been outscored 21-5. ... Colorado has outscored the opposition 19-2 in the last four home games, including two shutouts. ... It was the last of four straight road games for the Coyotes.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press