St. Louis at Colorado

Hejduk's hat trick helps Avs clobber Blues in goal-fest


DENVER -- With Joe Sakic out of the lineup, the Colorado Avalanche needed someone to step up. Milan Hejduk filled in just fine.

Hejduk notched his fifth career hat trick and added three assists to lead the Avalanche past the St. Louis Blues, 9-5 on Sunday night for the 1,000th NHL win in franchise history.

"He's always been a top-caliber guy and probably the best goal-scorer on this team," Paul Stastny said. "Even when Joe was here he was stepping up, and now he's gotten a couple more goals when we've needed it."

Hejduk got a lot of help from his linemates. Stastny had two goals and three assists and Ryan Smyth had a goal and two assists to give that line 14 points in the highest goal tally in the league so far this season.

Colorado's nine goals were the most in a game since Jan. 4, 2007, when Toronto beat Boston 10-2 and San Jose beat Detroit 9-4.

Hejduk's line accounted for six of the nine goals.

"When you score nine goals, there is a pretty good chance that those guys are going to be involved in a lot of them," Blues coach Andy Murray said.

The trio combined for seven points in a critical second period, when Colorado scored five times to blow open the game. Hejduk broke open a 1-1 tie, and after Jay McClement tied the game again on a penalty shot, Stastny, Wojtek Wolski, Brett Clark and Smyth scored in a hurry for the Avalanche.

Stastny's goal broke a 2-all tie with 9:59 left in the period. Wolski and Clark scored 3:10 apart, and Smyth's wraparound goal, his ninth of the season, made it 6-2 with 2:33 left in the frame.

"The three of them had a special night," Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville said.

The Blues didn't feel so special.

"Nothing went the way we wanted," St. Louis defenseman Christian Backman said. "It was just not a good game."

St. Louis goalie Hannu Toivonen faced only eight shots in the first period but was blitzed in the second. He allowed the five goals on 15 shots and was replaced by Marek Schwarz to start the third period. Toivonen returned at 3:05 of the third period after Doug Weight scored his seventh goal 24 seconds into the third, and David Perron scored a minute later to cut Colorado's lead to two goals.

"We didn't give Hannu a lot of help back there, and the game was back in reach, so we wanted to show him that we still believe in him," Murray said.

Colorado called a timeout to try and stop the Blues' comeback.

"You're up by four, you give up two, it's almost like a new hockey game," Quenneville said. "We had to get the momentum back, and we had to play harder."

The timeout worked. The Avalanche chased Toivonen again after Stastny's scored his 13th goal of the season and Hejduk completed his hat trick with 7:44 left.

Toivonen surrendered eight goals on 25 shots.

"This is a really big win for us," said Hejduk, who has 14 points in the last seven games. "It got a little scary at the beginning of the third, but we came back and scored a couple and put the game away."

The Blues took a 1-0 lead in the first period when McClement, who scored two goals, took a cross-ice pass from Stempniak and put it over Jose Theodore's shoulder from the right circle. The Avalanche tied it when Smyth stole the puck in the Blues' zone and fed Hejduk.


  • The Avalanche's five goals in the second period were a season-high for one period.
  • Colorado LW Andrew Brunette played in his 400th consecutive game, the third-longest active streak in the league.
  • Blues RW Lee Stempniak extended his points streak to five games with an assist in the first period.
  • Hejduk extended his points streak to seven games and scored his 100th career power-play goal.
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Milan Hejduk finds the back of the net three times and adds three assists for good measure.  (Getty Images)
Milan Hejduk finds the back of the net three times and adds three assists for good measure. (Getty Images)
St. Louis (16-10-1)1135
Colorado  (16-12-1) «1539
Three Stars
M. Hejduk

Goals: 3
Assist(s): 3
P. Stastny

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 3
R. Smyth

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 2

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Scoring Summary
10:14Jay McClement (2), Slap Shot. Assist: Lee Stempniak, David Backes
15:37Milan Hejduk (11), Wrist Shot. Assist: Ryan Smyth
05:02Power Play - Milan Hejduk (12), Slap Shot. Assist: Brett Clark, John-Michael Liles
05:44Jay McClement (3), Penalty Shot, Unassisted.
10:01Paul Stastny (12), Tip-In. Assist: Jaroslav Hlinka, Scott Hannan
11:28Wojtek Wolski (10), Wrist Shot. Assist: Andrew Brunette, Scott Hannan
14:38Brett Clark (3), Wrist Shot. Assist: Milan Hejduk, Paul Stastny
17:27Ryan Smyth (9), Wrap Shot. Assist: Paul Stastny, Milan Hejduk
24.0Doug Weight (2), Backhand Shot. Assist: Brad Boyes, Bryce Salvador
01:24David Perron (6), Wrist Shot. Assist: Jamal Mayers, Keith Tkachuk
07:36Paul Stastny (13), Slap Shot. Assist: Ryan Smyth, Milan Hejduk
12:16Power Play - Milan Hejduk (13), Wrist Shot. Assist: Paul Stastny, John-Michael Liles
14:17Power Play - Wojtek Wolski (11), Wrist Shot. Assist: Andrew Brunette, T.J. Hensick
19:19Power Play - Lee Stempniak (5), Snap Shot. Assist: David Perron, Eric Brewer
Penalty Summary
05:37Johnson, 2 min, Hooking
12:04Toivonen, 2 min, Delay of Game
18:22Cumiskey, 2 min, Hooking
04:41Johnson, 2 min, Hooking
03:47McClement, 2 min, Boarding
08:14Svatos, 2 min, Hooking
11:25McKee, 2 min, Boarding
12:44Johnson, 2 min, Holding
17:23Skrastins, 2 min, Hooking
Shots On Goal
St. Louis5111228
Marek Schwarz10:4331
Hannu Toivonen49:01178
Jose Theodore60:00235
Game Information
Attendance - 15476
Referees - Dan O'Halloran, Rob Shick
Linesmen - Derek Amell, Ryan Galloway
Other Games
Cal 3 Final
Chi 2
Car 2 Final
Det 5
NJ 0 Final