Final OT

Series (Game 1 of 1)

Colorado leads 1-0

Game 1: Saturday, December 27th
Flyers2Final
OT
Avalanche3

Flyers 2

(18-6-4, 48 pts)

Avalanche 3

(17-9-1, 42 pts)

9:00 PM ET, December 27, 2003

Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado

1 2 3 OT T
PHI 0 1 1 02
COL 0 1 1 13

M. Hejduk (Avalanche - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

J. Sakic (Avalanche - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

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

Colorado ties score after pulling goalie

DENVER (AP) -- The Philadelphia Flyers forgot about Peter Forsberg. That's understandable since he hadn't played in 19 games.

But Joe Sakic?

Sakic and Forsberg each had an assist on the tying goal after Colorado pulled its goaltender, and Milan Hejduk scored 1:42 into overtime to give the Avalanche a 3-2 win over Philadelphia on Saturday night.

"You can't allow anybody, never mind Joe Sakic, getting into the middle of the slot," Philadelphia's Mark Recchi said. "It was just a total breakdown on our part. That can't happen."

It did.

Trailing 2-1 with just over a minute left, Colorado sent goalie Phillipe Sauve off for an extra attacker. Forsberg picked up the puck shortly after hopping the boards and quickly got it to Sakic, who was alone in the slot.

He sent a hard shot toward the net, and Rob Blake tipped it in with 1:17 left. Hejduk didn't waste any time in overtime, scoring his 17th of the season to end Colorado's six-game winless streak (1-3-3).

"When you can put Peter and Joe together, and Blake went to the front of the net, you know something good is going to happen," Avalanche coach Tony Granato said. "Fortunately, one went in for us."

The Flyers were mad they even let it get to that point.

Philadelphia took a 2-1 lead with 9:32 left on Radovan Somik's second goal of the season -- his first since Dec. 3 against Pittsburgh -- then had a two-man advantage just over a minute later.

The Flyers had several good chances during the two-minute advantage, but couldn't get past Sauve. Blake followed with his eighth of the year, giving Philadelphia its fourth lost third-period lead this month.

"We had an opportunity to bury them, and it wasn't good," Recchi said.

The Flyers at least scored the first goal, something they hadn't done the previous 14 games.

Sami Kapanen got it, beating Sauve gloveside for a short-handed goal less than a minute after clanging a wide-open shot from the slot off the post.

But Teemu Selanne answered with his 10th of the season just 1:17 later on a rebound after Jean-Michael Liles hit the left post on a power play. Sakic had one of the assists, giving him 17 points in 10 games.

As for Forsberg, he struggled with conditioning after missing 23 of 25 games with an abdominal-groin injury, but still wound up extending his points streak to seven games.

"I was awful. The first two periods, it was an uphill battle," said Forsberg, who has five goals and 15 assists in 12 games. "I was just trying to play smart, not to do too many stupid things and just play defense. I was bad."

Philadelphia's Jeff Hackett had 27 saves but couldn't come up with the saves down the stretch in losing his sixth straight start.

Philadelphia is 1-3-2-3 its past nine games

"It's tough right now, it's tough for everybody," said Hackett, who hasn't won since a 3-2 victory over Montreal Dec. 8. "We're really gripping our sticks tight. I wish I knew the answer."

Game notes


One Philadelphia fan sitting along the boards had a sign that said "Clarke must go," referring to Flyers' GM Bob Clarke. ... The NHL record for consecutive games allowing the first goal is 17, set by the expansion Washington Capitals in 1974-75. ... Kapanen's goal ended a streak of six games without a point. ... Philadelphia's Marcus Ragnarsson had a power-play goal wiped out late in the second period after Justin Williams knocked Sauve down and was called for a penalty.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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