Series (Game 2 of 2)

Colorado leads 2-0

Game 1: Sunday, November 2nd
Game 2: Thursday, November 20th

Rangers 3

(6-7-2, 18 pts)

Avalanche 4

(12-5-1, 26 pts)

10:00 PM ET, November 20, 2003

Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado

1 2 3 T
NYR 0 2 13
COL 2 2 04

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

S. Moore (Avalanche - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

M. Rucinsky (Rangers - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

No Kariya, Forsberg? No problem!

DENVER (AP) -- Never a prolific goal scorer, Steve Konowalchuk is on pace for a career year.

Steve Konowalchuk

Konowalchu gets a little help and a hand from his friends.

Konowalchuk scored two goals, Alex Tanguay had a goal and an assist, and the Colorado Avalanche beat the New York Rangers 4-3 on Thursday night.

Konowalchuk has scored seven goals in his last eight games. With eight goals this season, he is on track to eclipse his career high of 24 in the 2000-01 season with the Washington Capitals.

"I'm not going to score like that," Konowalchuk said. "Right now I'm just taking advantage of my opportunities. I'm feeding off of the good players here."

On Oct. 22, the Capitals traded their captain to Colorado, where he has found new life.

"I don't think necessarily I'm done," he said. "I don't think that's why they traded me. I hope not, anyway.

"This just feels like a fresh start. A different team, different players. I'm having a great time. I don't remember having a time like this."

Konowalchuk gave the Avalanche leads of 1-0 and 3-2. Rookie Cody McCormick's goal, which made it 4-2, proved to be the game-winner.

Colorado goaltender David Aebischer had 31 saves. New York's Jason LaBarbera, making his second NHL appearance and first start, had 29 saves.

LaBarbera was in goal because Mike Dunham is out with a groin injury, and backup Jussi Markkanen returned to New York to be with his wife for the birth of their second child.

The Avalanche were without high-scoring forwards Peter Forsberg (pulled abdominal muscle) and Paul Kariya (sprained right wrist).

Avalanche coach Tony Granato called Konowalchuk "a guy who is willing to pay the price in front of the net. He had two big goals tonight."

Rangers coach Glen Sather was pleased with LaBarbera's performance.

"I don't blame him for any of the goals," he said. "He made the initial saves. He made some great saves. But we have to be there to get the rebounds if he's the kind of goalie that kicks the rebounds out."

Colorado took a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Konowalchuk and Tanguay.

Steve Moore's shot from the left circle went off traffic in front of the net, and Konowalchuk fought off a defender to backhand the puck in at 6:52.

Tanguay, the NHL's leading scorer, took a pass from Joe Sakic and scored on a one-timer from just left of the goal on a power play at 17:34.

New York scored two goals on rebounds midway through the second period, but Colorado countered with two rebound goals just 1:14 apart late in the period for a 4-2 lead.

Anson Carter put in a rebound from the slot on a power play at 8:55, and Martin Rucinsky gloved a rebound, dropped the puck, and slapped it past Aebischer at 12:15.

Konowalchuk scored his second goal, poking in a rebound of Derek Morris' shot at 16:36. McCormick scored at 17:50 on a rebound from the right circle.

New York's Matthew Barnaby scored on still another rebound at 16:28 of the third period. The Rangers pulled LaBarbera for the final 1:32 but couldn't convert.

Game Notes: LaBarbera was recalled from Hartford of the AHL on Monday. ... Rangers C Eric Lindros missed his fourth straight game because of a scratched left cornea. ... Forsberg missed his fifth straight game and eighth in the last 10. ... Colorado is 7-0-1-1 in its last nine games.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press