Final OT

Series (Game 1 of 1)

Series starts 2/10

Game 1: Tuesday, February 10th

Islanders 1

(26-21-2, 60 pts)

Avalanche 1

(30-11-4, 74 pts)

9:30 PM ET, February 10, 2004

Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado

1 2 3 OT T
NYI 0 1 0 01
COL 0 1 0 01

R. DiPietro (Islanders - G): Saves: 36, Save Pct.: .973

P. Sauve (Avalanche - G): Saves: 35, Save Pct.: .972

P. Kariya (Avalanche - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

New York 1, Colorado 1

DENVER (AP) -- With the goaltending clinic staged by youngsters Rick DiPietro and Philippe Sauve, it seemed only appropriate that the New York Islanders and Colorado Avalanche played to a 1-1 tie Tuesday night.

New York's DiPietro finished with 36 saves, and Sauve had 35.

"There's no question we came out of here with a tie because of Rick," Islanders coach Steve Stirling said. "That's as good as I've seen him.

"He made some great saves when we needed them, but the other guy made some pretty good saves, too. Both goalies played really well and gave their team a chance."

In overtime, Sauve made two acrobatic saves off Trent Hunter, while DiPietro made a sprawling save off Steve Konowalchuk.

"It was a pretty lucky save," DiPietro said. "He surprised me. He came around and I threw a pretty good poke check at him, and he had enough patience to toe drag and pull around me. I was just throwing everything I had there to make a save, and fortunately for me I got my pad on it."

DiPietro, 22, called it "probably one of the top games I've ever played. We went toe-to-toe with a pretty good hockey club."

Sauve, 23, was most valuable player of the Young Stars game during NHL All-Star weekend, and his performance carried over to Tuesday night.

"Phil made some big saves," Avalanche coach Tony Granato said.

"I felt good out there," Sauve said. "It's fun to get in some good action like that. It was a good game, but it's not good enough. We can't afford to get just one point from that team."

Colorado's Paul Kariya and New York's Mariusz Czerkawski had the lone goals, both in the second period.

New York had a 5-1 edge in shots in the extra session, but Sauve stood firm. He dived to the ice to rob Hunter early in the period, then later made a glove save off Hunter.

DiPietro stopped Joe Sakic twice in the last two minutes of regulation.

Colorado was without All-Star defenseman Rob Blake, sidelined indefinitely with a hairline fracture in his lower left leg. Forward Travis Brigley bruised his shoulder late in the first period and didn't return.

Colorado outshot the Islanders 10-8 in a scoreless first period. The Avalanche had a 5-on-3 advantage for 26 seconds, but couldn't get a shot on goal

In the second period, Kariya got his first goal in 12 games, poking in the puck from the crease after Sakic's shot from the point trickled past DePietro. The net came loose, and referee Jay Sharrers had to consult video replay before ruling it a goal.

Less than two minutes later, the Islanders countered on a power play. Czerkawski's shot from right of the goal bounced off Sauve's body into the net.

The Islanders squandered two other scoring chances in the period. Dave Scatchard missed an open net. Later, Avs defenseman Martin Skoula turned the puck over in the Islanders' end, but Cliff Ronning hit the post.

DiPietro had the two best saves of the third period, stopping Milan Hejduk and later smothering a deflection by Derek Morris.

Game notes

Colorado center Andrei Nikolishin missed his seventh straight game because of an abdominal muscle injury, but has rejoined practice. ... Scatchard played in his 500th career game. ... The Islanders are 4-2-1-0 in the last seven meetings with Colorado. ... Since Dec. 31, Colorado is 13-1-3-3. ... Sakic's assist gave him 1,373 career points, moving him past Brett Hull and into sole possession of 17th place in NHL history.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press