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Avs down Blues in OT, keep pace in Northwest

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Joe Sakic and the Colorado Avalanche are
closing in on first-place Calgary in the Northwest Division.

Sakic scored a power-play goal 57 seconds into overtime to give
the Avalanche a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday
night and move them within a point of the Flames.

"It's fun being in this race," Sakic said. "It's fun knowing
that every game means so much."

With Christian Backman in the penalty box, Sakic one-timed Rob
Blake's pass past Patrick Lalime for his 28th goal of the season.
Sakic has six goals and five assists in his last six games.

Colorado improved to 6-7 in overtime.

"We were patient out there. I just kind of moved it around,"
Sakic said. "I gave it to Blakey, actually I thought he was going
to shoot. I think so did they. It was in the right spot."

The Blues have lost six straight games. It was the Blues' eighth
overtime game in their last 10 at home.

The Blues grabbed a 1-0 lead with just 1:28 remaining in the
first period. Scott Young one-timed a Dean McAmmond pass from the
left point to beat Peter Budaj. Young's 17th goal came on the
power-play.

"We know we're out of the playoffs, but we have to show up
every night," Young said. "We came out and played a strong game
tonight."

Colorado failed to score on an extended power play midway
through the first after Steve Poapst was given a five-minute major
and a game misconduct for boarding Cody McCormick.

Peter Cajanek made it 2-0 with his ninth goal of the season at
5:05 of the second on the power-play. With Sakic in the penalty box
for holding, Cajanek's centering pass for Keith Tkachuk hit
defenseman Patrick Brisebois in the skate and the puck skipped past
Budaj.

Colorado answered five minutes later when Pierre Turgeon scored
his 14th goal at 10:12. With Cajanek in the penalty box for
hooking, Lalime couldn't handle Sakic's initial shot from the left
point, and Turgeon jammed home the rebound.

Jim Dowd tied the game 2-2 with the Avalanche shorthanded. Dowd
scored his fourth goal with just under three minutes to play in the
second.

"Special teams were huge," Colorado coach Joel Quenneville
said following his second win in St. Louis in less than a month.
"It's nice to see our power play produce too."

Lalime made 28 saves. His last win was March 13 against
Columbus. Budaj stopped 26 of 28 shots.

"We knew they had a good power play," Lalime said. "That's
what won the game for them."

^Notes:@ The Blues played their first game since it was
announced that they had been bought by a group headed by former
Madison Square Garden President Dave Checketts ... Colorado's Milan
Hejduk was a late scratch with the flu. ... Blake is two goals shy
of 200 for his career.