Tampa Bay at Colorado

Sakic keeps scoring, Avalanche handle Lightning


DENVER -- Paul Stastny gave the Colorado Avalanche a glimpse of the fine career they expect him to have.

Stastny had a goal and two assists, and Joe Sakic scored on the power play in the Avalanche's 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday night.

"Everybody experiences stretches, whether it be a scoring drought or maybe not having the same energy all the time," Colorado coach Joel Quenneville said of Stastny. "One thing is for certain, you're comfortable with him in any situation whether he scores or not."

Stastny had gone five games without a goal, but notched three assists over that stretch.

"We have to remind ourselves there is a learning curve involved, be it a college guy or a first-year player," Quenneville said.

"His head is already getting big enough, and not just because he's cocky," Colorado defenseman John-Michael Liles said. "He's got a hug head. He's playing phenomenally for us and I think everybody saw it back in training camp, you know, the potential that he has, and he's only getting better."

Tyler Arnason broke a tie with a second-period goal. Milan Hejduk also scored for Colorado, which won for the second time in five games.

Peter Budaj stopped 26 shots while making his fourth consecutive start.

The Avalanche power play was 0-for-14 over three games before Sakic's goal at 16:43 of the first period. Sakic has four goals and four assists in six games.

Stastny, a product of nearby Denver University, underplayed his recent goal-less streak and his three-point night.

"We needed the extra goal, I think," Stastny said of Colorado's fourth goal. "We've been relying too much on Boods (Budaj), and it helped out a little."

Vincent Lecavalier scored his 23th goal and Vaclav Prospal added one for Tampa Bay. The Lightning fell to 6-11-1 in their last 18 games.

Marc Denis, Colorado's first-round draft choice in 1995, made 28 saves for the Lightning.

"Marc gave us a chance to fight back into the game," Tampa Bay associate coach Craig Ramsay said. "It's frustrating when we are given that opportunity and we can't seem to get it done."

Trailing 3-2, Tampa Bay kept the puck in the Avalanche end of the rink for most of the third period, but couldn't capitalize. Budaj caught a shot from the slot by Brad Richards at 5:24, and robbed Prospal with a glove save at 10:44.

Wojtek Wolski took a holding penalty at 6:44 of the period for Colorado, but Tampa Bay couldn't muster a shot on goal.

Ian Laperriere missed a wide open net for the Avalanche, fanning on a shot from in front of the crease. Denis caught Wolski's close-in shot at 11:10.

Stastny added an insurance goal with 1:50 left.

The Avalanche took a 1-0 lead on Sakic's 18th goal. With Doug Janik off for holding, Sakic took a pass in the slot and wristed a shot past Denis' stick at 16:43 of the first period.

Colorado held a 12-7 shots advantage in the opening period.

The pace picked up in the second period, and Prospal tied the game at 1:45. Cory Sarich intercepted Avalanche defenseman Ossie Vaananen's sloppy pass along the boards and had his shot blocked by Budaj. Prospal got to the rebound and knocked it in.

Hejduk gave Colorado the lead back at 3:17 with a shot over Denis' glove, but Lecavalier's one-timer from the left of Budaj at 4:30 made it 2-2.

Arnason redirected a shot from the left point by Karlis Skrastins past Denis at 12:43 to put Colorado ahead 3-2. Skrastins' shot came as Brad Richards left the penalty box.

"He (Arnason) was behind our last line of defense, so you've got to put everything on that first save," Denis said. "It's unfortunate."


  • Sarich played in his 450th game with Tampa Bay.
  • The Lightning are 2-3 in the second of back-to-back games.
  • Colorado D Karlis Skrastins played in his 473rd consecutive game.
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Joe Sakic's power-play goal gives him four goals and four assists in six games. (Getty Images)
Joe Sakic's power-play goal gives him four goals and four assists in six games. (Getty Images)
Tampa Bay (19-21-2)0202
Colorado  (20-18-2) «1214
Three Stars
P. Stastny

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 2
J. Sakic

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
V. Lecavalier

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1

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Scoring Summary
16:43Power Play - Joe Sakic (18), Wrist Shot - Assists: Paul Stastny, John-Michael Liles
01:45Vaclav Prospal (5), Wrist Shot - Assists: Vincent Lecavalier, Cory Sarich
03:17Milan Hejduk (13), Wrist Shot - Assist: Paul Stastny
04:30Power Play - Vincent Lecavalier (23), Wrist Shot - Assists: Dan Boyle, Martin St. Louis
12:43Tyler Arnason (11), Tip-In - Assists: Karlis Skrastins, Brett Clark
18:10Paul Stastny (10), Backhand Shot - Assists: Andrew Brunette, Karlis Skrastins
Penalty Summary
15:44Janik: Holding - 2 min.
02:28Laperriere: Roughing - 2 min.
02:28Tarnasky: Roughing - 2 min.
03:34Sakic: Hooking - 2 min.
10:42Richards: High sticking - 2 min.
13:34Laperriere: Charging - 2 min.
06:44Wolski: Holding - 2 min.
Tampa Bay7111028
Marc Denis58:27284
Peter Budaj60:00262
Game Information
Attendance - 18007
Referees - Kerry Fraser, Kelly Sutherland
Linesmen - Vaughan Rody, Jay Sharrers
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