Final

Series (Game 4 of 4)

Colorado leads 3-1

Game 1: Thursday, November 3rd
Ducks3Final
Avalanche4
Game 2: Friday, November 18th
Avalanche3Final
Ducks2
Game 3: Wednesday, March 22nd
Avalanche4Final
OT
Ducks5
Game 4: Tuesday, March 28th
Ducks3Final
Avalanche4

Ducks 3

(37-22-12, 86 pts)

Avalanche 4

(40-25-8, 88 pts)

9:00 PM ET, March 28, 2006

Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado

1 2 3 T
ANA 1 0 23
COL 1 1 24

A. Brunette (Avalanche - LW): Goals: 2, Assists: 1

J. Sakic (Avalanche - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 3

T. Selanne (Ducks - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Brunette's third-period scores lead Avalanche to win

DENVER (AP) -- Andrew Brunette kept the Anaheim Mighty Ducks from rallying again for a seventh straight victory.

Brunette scored two third-period goals -- each after Anaheim tied the game -- to lead the Colorado Avalanche to a 4-3 victory Tuesday night that snapped the Ducks' six-game winning streak.

Anaheim came from behind to win five straight games and eight of 10. But Brunette's goals helped curb any momentum the Ducks managed to build.

"We're a pretty resilient group," Brunette said.

The Avalanche moved two points ahead of idle Calgary in the race for first place in the Northwest Division and moved up three spots in the Western Conference standings to third. The Flames face Colorado in Calgary on Friday.

Colorado had been tied with Calgary and Anaheim with 86 points.

"Our conference is so tight, and the play is tight, we are watching the scoreboard every night," said Avalanche captain Joe Sakic, who finished with three assists. "Tonight is just one game, and we are in first for a day. We just will hope to continue it."

Brunette's winning goal came at 13:57 of the final period, when he deflected a slap shot from Brett Clark past goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere. Giguere immediately argued, saying he had been interfered with.

"I never got an explanation," he said. "That [goal] and the second one bothered me. I thought they outworked us all game."

Brunette also added an impressive assist in the second period to tie his season high in both goals and points in one game.

Clark and Brett McLean also scored for Colorado. Ryan Getzlaf, Teemu Selanne and Sean O'Donnell had goals for the Mighty Ducks.

Anaheim came in as one of the NHL's hottest teams, with a 10-2-1 record since the Olympic break. But the Ducks looked sluggish at times, despite having not played since Saturday.

Anaheim also struggled on the power play after going 9-for-15 in its previous three wins. The Ducks failed to score on all five chances, including one in the final four minutes as they trailed by one goal.

"Bad passes. Absolutely bad passes," Selanne said of the power plays. "We panicked at times."

Brunette scored at 7:41 in the final period to put the Avalanche up 3-2, but Getzlaf tied it again 33 seconds later when he put the puck past goalie Peter Budaj's stick side. Budaj struggled to protect his right side, allowing all three goals to pass him there.

Budaj made 28 saves, and Giguere stopped 31 shots.

Selanne scored against his former team and tied it at 2 at 4:15 of the third period after taking a pass through the crease from Todd Fedoruk.

Clark scored his eighth goal to put the Avs up 2-1 early in the second period. He took a pass in front of the net from Brunette, who was sliding on his knees toward the boards.

"I think until Clark's goal we weren't playing as well as we could have," Brunette said. "Once we got that goal we started to pick it up and started taking over."

McLean had tied it at 1 at 15:39 of the first period, after O'Donnell scored the Ducks' first goal of the night. It was O'Donnell's first since he was traded to Anaheim from Phoenix on March 9 and his second this season.

Besides improving their playoff picture, the Avalanche avenged a 5-4 overtime loss last Wednesday in Anaheim.

"They kept coming," Colorado coach Joel Quenneville said. "The pace and the excitement made the two games against them probably the two best games of the year."

Game notes


Sakic extended his point streak to eight games. ... Anaheim D Vitaly Vishnevski left the ice bleeding in the second period after taking a puck to the nose. He returned later that period after getting nine stitches. ... The Ducks failed to tie a franchise record set in 1999 of seven straight wins. ... Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney stood on the ice during the second intermission wearing a Denver Broncos jersey to follow through on a bet he lost to Colorado Gov. Bill Owens when the Broncos beat the New England Patriots in the NFL playoffs earlier this year.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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