Final OT

Series (Game 2 of 6)

Colorado leads 3-2

Game 1: Thursday, October 16th
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Wild2
Game 2: Tuesday, November 4th
Wild4Final
OT
Avalanche4
Game 3: Wednesday, December 17th
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Avalanche2
Game 4: Sunday, January 4th
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Avalanche3
Game 5: Sunday, February 22nd
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Wild1
Game 6: Wednesday, March 31st
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OT
Wild5

Wild 4

(5-6-0, 12 pts)

Avalanche 4

(6-5-0, 13 pts)

9:00 PM ET, November 4, 2003

Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado

1 2 3 OT T
MIN 2 2 0 04
COL 0 2 2 04

A. Laaksonen (Wild - LW): Goals: 2, Assists: 1

S. Konowalchuk (Avalanche - LW): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

A. Brunette (Wild - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Laaksonen scores twice for Wild in 4-4 tie

DENVER (AP) -- Comebacks are becoming a habit for the Colorado Avalanche. Steve Konowalchuk wishes they weren't.

Konowalchuk scored twice, including an unassisted goal midway through the third period, to lift the Avalanche into a 4-4 tie with the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night.

It marked the second straight game that Colorado rallied from a two-goal deficit in the third period. On Sunday, the Avs erased a 2-0 deficit and beat the New York Rangers 3-2 in overtime.

"We want to get better to where we don't have to do that two games in a row," Konowalchuk said.

Antti Laaksonen had two goals and an assist for Minnesota, and Manny Fernandez made 32 saves.

Colorado's David Aebischer gave up four goals on 14 shots and was replaced at the start of the third period by Phil Sauve, who stopped all 10 shots he faced.

The Avalanche -- already playing without injured star forwards Peter Forsberg and Paul Kariya -- lost defenseman Adam Foote to a hamstring injury in the second period.

Colorado rallied from 2-0 and 4-2 deficits, pulling even the final time on goals by Derek Morris and Konowalchuk in the third period.

Morris scored from just inside the blue line at 7:26, and Konowalchuk, playing in his 700th career game, stole the puck from Brad Bombardir in the right circle and scored off the post at 11:55.

"I was just forcing the play at the blue line," Konowalchuk said. "It was just perfect for me. It bounced right over that guy's stick right at my feet. It's nice to get that once in a while."

Minnesota outshot Colorado 4-0 in overtime, and Sauve had a key save on Marian Gaborik on a breakaway. Gaborik saw his first action of the season following a contract holdout.

"I started out pretty good," Gaborik said. "Hopefully I'm going to pick it up the next game. I feel pretty good skating. I'm excited to play again."

Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said Gaborik "has a long ways to go. He's not in game shape yet. That's probably the reason why he didn't score."

Asked about the goalie change, Avs coach Tony Granato said, "There are going to be nights like that when the puck takes funny bounces and there needs to be a change. We also thought that David had played so well for us for so long that the opportunity was right to make a change."

Aebischer was in the net for the third time in four days.

Goals by Laaksonen and Andrew Brunette put Minnesota up 2-0 late in the first period.

Laaksonen skated down the left side and put a shot from the circle past Aebischer at 17:47.

Laaksonen assisted on the second goal when his shot from the slot ricocheted off the glass and went directly to Brunette, who scored from just right of the goal at 19:01. It extended Brunette's goal-scoring streak to four games.

Colorado scored twice early in the second period, but Minnesota countered with two of its own for a 4-2 lead.

Both of Colorado's goals came off faceoffs in Minnesota's end. Konowalchuk redirected Morris' shot at 3:47, and Cody McCormick got his first NHL goal at 4:55.

Minnesota, outshot 9-0 in the first 10 minutes of the period, went up 3-2 when Christoph Brandner outmuscled Joe Sakic in front of the net and scored at 11:58.

Colorado's Charlie Stephens had barely exited the penalty box when Laaksonen jammed the puck past Aebischer at 18:47.

Game notes


Gaborik, the Wild's leading scorer last season, signed a multiyear contract on Friday after missing training camp and the first three weeks of the season. ... Forsberg missed his third straight game because of a strained groin. ... Kariya has resumed skating in practice and is believed close to returning from a sprained right wrist. ... The tie ended Minnesota's three-game winning streak. The Wild have won three straight nine times, but have never won four in a row. ... Minnesota went 0-for-4 on the power play, snapping its streak of scoring a power-play goal in nine straight games, a franchise record.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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