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
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."
"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
"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."
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
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.
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.