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Aebischer stops 29 shots

2/12/2004

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- David Aebischer is proving to be a worthy
replacement for Patrick Roy.

Aebischer stopped 29 shots for his fourth shutout of the season
and the Colorado Avalanche extended their point streak to 11 games
Thursday night with a 4-0 victory over the slumping St. Louis
Blues.

"He's played great all year," Avalanche defenseman Derek
Morris said. "Even when he thinks he's played bad, he hasn't. He's
been the key to why we win a lot of games.

"He should have been an All-Star. He's proving each night he
should have been."

Alex Tanguay and Peter Forsberg each had a goal and an assist
for Colorado, 6-0-3-2 in the last 11 games. Steve Konowalchuk and
Morris also scored for the Avalanche, tied with Philadelphia for
the most points in the NHL with 76.

"It was a team effort tonight," Aebischer said. "We got some
power-play goals and our PK (penalty killing) was pretty solid."

The Avalanche have lost just three of 28 road games this season.
They have earned at least one point in 23 of their last 24 away
from home, including 14 in a row. That's the NHL's best run of
success on the road since the 1977-78 Montreal Canadians recorded a
point in 24 of 25 road games.

"We battled and played a very solid road game," Colorado coach
Tony Granato said.

St. Louis is 1-9-1 in its last 11 games and has been shut out
five times this season -- three in the last 10 games. The Blues have
won only three of their last 13 home games and lost their last five
at home.

"They're playing hard," Granato said. "You could tell we
frustrated them. They are still a great team and they're a team
that I think will be there at the end.

"They have plenty of time to get their act together."

St. Louis is 3-7-2-0 in its last 12 games against Colorado, and
1-5-1-0 at home in the last seven meetings with the Avalanche.

Colorado took a 1-0 lead on its second shot of the game when
Forsberg scored 3:42 into the first period, snapping a three-game
scoreless streak.

"We're getting behind early in games and it's tough playing
from behind in this league," Blues defenseman Chris Pronger said.
"At the same time, we're making mistakes we don't normally make.

"When you're in the gutter struggling to get out, it's pretty
tough."

A goal by Joe Sakic, who had two assists, was disallowed at
12:13 during a scramble in front of the net because the referee
lost sight of the puck. Colorado had four shots on goal and the
Blues had defenseman Bryce Salvador and center Petr Cajanek in the
net along with goaltender Chris Osgood.

Colorado scored its second goal at 10:14 of the second period
when Morris took a shot and the puck deflected in off the skate of
Blues defenseman Christian Backman. The goal ended a 29-game
scoreless drought for Morris.

A power-play goal by Tanguay at 14:52 gave Colorado a 3-0 lead.
Forsberg started the play when he passed to Milan Hejduk, who took
a shot. Tanguay got the rebound and scored easily into an open net
for his 20th of the season.

"I'll take those any day," Tanguay said. "We try to get as
much traffic in front of the net as possible on the power play. We
did and that was a key for us."

A power-play goal by Konowalchuk in the third period gave
Colorado a 4-0 lead.

Osgood has not won in St. Louis since Dec. 18, when he was in
goal for a 4-2 win over San Jose. Since Jan. 1, Osgood is 2-11-2.

The Blues went 0-for-4 on the power play and are 1-for-33 in
their last eight games.

"With the way we've been playing lately, it's hard to find
positives," Osgood said.

Game notes
The shutout was the 10th of Aebischer's career. ... St.
Louis has scored no more than two goals in 12 of its last 13 games.
... Blues D Eric Weinrich played for the first time since being
acquired from Philadelphia. To make room, the Blues put Aris
Brimanis on waivers to send him to Worcester of the AHL. ... The
Avalanche placed C Andrei Nikolishin on injured reserve (abdominal
strain) and recalled forward Cody McCormick, who played against St.
Louis, from Hershey of the AHL. Nokolishin was placed on IR
retroactive to Jan. 24. ... Colorado improved to 21-1-2-1 when
leading after two periods.