Final

Series (Game 6 of 6)

Series tied 2-2

Game 1: Thursday, December 11th
Avalanche1Final
OT
Canucks1
Game 2: Monday, December 29th
Canucks3Final
Avalanche2
Game 3: Friday, January 2nd
Avalanche4Final
Canucks2
Game 4: Monday, February 16th
Canucks1Final
Avalanche0
Game 5: Wednesday, March 3rd
Canucks5Final
OT
Avalanche5
Game 6: Monday, March 8th
Avalanche9Final
Canucks2

Avalanche 9

(35-17-5, 87 pts)

Canucks 2

(36-21-4, 84 pts)

10:00 PM ET, March 8, 2004

Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

1 2 3 T
COL 5 1 39
VAN 0 2 02

M. Hejduk (Avalanche - RW): Goals: 3, Assists: 0

J. Sakic (Avalanche - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 3

B. May (Canucks - LW): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

Moore hit from behind, knocked out

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- The Colorado Avalanche bounced back from an ugly loss with a lopsided win that turned ugly in the end.

After the Avs were blown out by Calgary 24 hours earlier, Milan Hejduk had three goals as Colorado scored five times in the first period en route to a 9-2 victory Monday night over the Vancouver Canucks.

Steve Moore

Steve Moore was knocked unconscious by a Todd Bertuzzi punch. Teammates of Bertuzzi called the act a "sucker punch" and "sickening."

Colorado moved three points ahead of Vancouver in the Northwest Division, but that was little consolation after Avalanche forward Steve Moore was carted off on a stretcher after Todd Bertuzzi jumped him in the third period.

Less than two hours after the final horn, the NHL suspended Bertuzzi, who was given a match penalty for intent to injure, indefinitely -- without pay. There will be a hearing Wednesday morning at the league's office in Toronto.

"It really puts a damper on the whole game," said Colorado captain Joe Sakic, who had a goal and three assists. "There's rivalries, but rivalries don't include that stuff. We have two excellent hockey teams and tonight was our night, but it ended up like that and obviously nobody feels good about that."

Moore delivered the hit last month that knocked Canucks captain Markus Naslund out for three games with a concussion. Canucks tough guy Brad May talked about a bounty after that Feb. 16 game, but he backed off those comments. The teams played to a 5-5 tie without incident last Wednesday.

Monday's game started with Moore dropping the gloves with Matt Cooke in the first, and Bertuzzi was chasing Moore around the ice midway through the third.

Bertuzzi, Naslund's linemate and close friend, punched Moore in the head from behind while skating at center ice. The 245-pound Canucks winger then jumped on Moore's back and drove him face first into the ice, knocking him unconscious.

"Obviously, I think we all feel bad about someone getting hurt," Naslund said. "Todd feels awful about it and is very sorry. I know it might not mean much right now. As weird as it seems, I don't think that was Todd's intentions. He obviously gave him a sucker punch but he feels really awful about it right now."

Trainers from both teams rushed to Moore's side while players from both teams squared off for more fights. Moore was motionless on the ice with a puddle of blood pouring onto the ice around him.

"It was disgusting," Avalanche defenseman Derek Morris said. "I haven't seen anything like that in my seven years of playing hockey. This was premeditated; this was the worst thing I've seen."

After a 10-minute delay, during which Colorado coach Tony Granato tried to get at the Canucks bench and screamed at Vancouver coach Marc Crawford, Moore was strapped onto a stretcher and wheeled off.

"The most important thing for me right now is the last I heard is he was conscious when he left the building," Granato said of Moore, who was taken to a hospital. "He regained consciousness when he left the building."

May, who was involved in three fights, including two with Peter Worrell, scored both goals for the Canucks.

"This game took a life of its own, and it shouldn't have," May said. "On the other hand, there's a lot of emotion and a lot of battles. For two-and-a-half to three weeks, there's been a lot of talk.

"To a man in here, the first thing is we support the Colorado player 100 percent and our own teammates."

The win was just Colorado's third in 12 games, and Granato was pleased with the way his team responded after being beaten so soundly the night before.

Hejduk opened the scoring just 18 seconds after Moore fought Cooke, and Steve Konowalchuk added a goal at 14:40 to start an outburst that produced three goals in 51 seconds.

Sakic scored on his own rebound at 15:09, and Darby Hendrickson made it 4-0 on a partial breakaway just 22 seconds later. That ended goalie Dan Cloutier's night and set an Avalanche record for the fastest three goals.

Johan Hedberg, who posted shutouts in each of his previous two starts, took over for Cloutier, but he didn't fare any better.

Moore tapped in a rebound at 16:19 to give the Avalanche four goals in 1:39, breaking the Canucks' record for fastest four goals allowed.

Morris scored during a five-on-three power play in the second period for the Avalanche, and Paul Kariya added a short-handed tally in the third. Hejduk added two goals in the third period as Colorado improved to an NHL-best 18-4-7-4 on the road.

"We came to play hockey, we played a very good period and had things under control and that was their only way to try to get something out of tonight," Granato said.

Game notes


The season series finished 2-2-2. ... Canucks C Trevor Linden ended a 12-game pointless drought with two assists to pass Stan Smyl as Vancouver's career scoring leader with 675 points. ... Avalanche C Andrei Nikolishin returned after missing 20 games with an abdominal injury. ... Vancouver D Marek Malik was a surprise scratch with a sore back. ... Canucks D Ed Jovanovski skated with teammates Monday morning for the first time since separating his right shoulder in a Jan. 25 game. He is expected to take part in contact drills Tuesday, then be re-evaluated.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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