DENVER (AP) -- When the goals aren't coming, take it out on the
Colorado forward Marek Svatos cut an inch off his stick and
scored his first two goals of the season during the Avalanche's 3-2
win over the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday.
"If that's all it takes, I'm going to go shorter and shorter on
the stick every day," said Svatos, who scored 32 goals last
Svatos tried to go with a longer hockey stick this season to
generate more power, but it wasn't working. It was only generating
On his second goal, the game-winner with 5:44 remaining, he
didn't use his stick at all. Instead, Svatos used his skate. The
referees looked at a replay of the goal and ruled he didn't attempt
to kick it in. On replay, it looked as if he did knock it in with
his stick, but Svatos confessed.
"It went off my feet," Svatos said. "It was a lucky goal."
Daniel Sedin opened the scoring for Vancouver with his third
goal of the season early in the first period. Wojtek Wolski
answered for Colorado later in the first. Svatos scored his first
goal early in the second period before Markus Naslund tied it for
the Avalanche at the end of the period.
Svatos' lucky goal made up for one that was disallowed late in
the second period. The Avalanche thought they had the go-ahead goal
by Ian Laperriere with 9.2 seconds left, but the refs ruled the
whistle had blown for a penalty before the goal. Laperriere, who
thought he'd scored his 100th career goal, had already begun
celebrating. The Avalanche failed to score on the power play after
the hooking penalty on Jan Bulis.
Laperrieri was disheartened he didn't get his 100th Sunday, but
the win lessened the disappointed.
"They're human," he said of the officials. "They make
mistakes. It's too bad, but if we would've lost it would've been a
different story. We won so it doesn't matter."
Jose Theodore stopped 26 shots for Colorado, while Roberto
Luongo turned away 32 for Vancouver.
The Avalanche head into a five-day break with a much-needed win.
They'd lost their first two games in overtime.
"We can relax a little more," Laperriere said. "We're not
thinking about when we're going to get that first win."
Vancouver dropped its first game after winning two straight on
the road to open the season.
All three of Colorado's goals were off power plays. The
Avalanche were 3-for-8 on the power play Sunday.
"You expect that on the road," Luongo said. "We held them off
for much of the game only to give one up at the end."
The Avalanche scored all three the same way -- by putting traffic
in front of the net.
"All on passes from behind the net off rebounds," Vancouver
coach Alain Vigneault said. "Give them credit. They found a way to
put the puck in the net off second opportunities."
Joe Sakic had a pair of assists in the game and now has 87
points against Vancouver, the most of any active player.
Theodore came up big for Colorado in the closing minutes.
Colorado's Mark Rycroft was called for high sticking with 3:05 left
and the Canucks fired shot after shot at Theodore. Vancouver even
pulled Luongo with 1:39 remaining.
"I take a lot of pride in making the big saves when they
count," Theodore said. "At the end you are anxious to see the
time run out."
The bad blood that had existed between Vancouver and Colorado
has subsided with the Canucks' trade of Todd Bertuzzi to the
Florida Panthers last June. Bertuzzi was booed every time he came
to Colorado after he fractured former Avalanche forward Steve
Moore's neck with a hard open-ice body check in 2004.
Luongo, who was acquired from Florida for Bertuzzi, is 0-5
against Colorado with four of the losses coming while he was with
After the game, it was almost therapeutic for Luongo to talk
about the winning goal by Svatos.
"I think Sakic took a wrist shot with a screen and I made the
save," he said. "It went just a bit too far and Svatos banged it
right through my legs."
Colorado coach Joel Quenneville was just pleased to see Svatos
get back on track.
"I think we are starting to see him back to what he's capable
of," Quenneville said.Game notes
Brett Clark matched a career-best with two assists. ...
Sedin played in his 400th career NHL game and scored his third goal
of the season in the first period. With his second-period goal,
Naslund is one away from 300.