Avs Earn 6-2 Victory over Sharks
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DENVER (AP) -- Paul Stastny
had a goal and four assists and Milan Hejduk
scored twice and set up another tally as the Colorado Avalanche broke open a tight game with four third-period goals and beat the San Jose Sharks 6-2 Sunday night.
Avalanche captain Joe Sakic had a goal and assist to move past Phil Esposito into eighth on the NHL career points list with 1,591.
Stastny, the runner-up to Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin for rookie of the year honors last season, has four goals and four assists in Colorado's first three games. He had a hat trick in the Avalanche's season-opening win against Dallas on Wednesday.
Hejduk scored late in the first period, less than three minutes after Sakic notched the 611th goal of his 19-year career.
The Avalanche poured it on in the third after Ryan Clowe scored the first of his two goals to make 2-1 after two periods. Just 52 seconds into the final frame, Hejduk found Stastny in front to give Colorado a two-goal cushion.
Hejduk scored 1:55 later, and the rout was on. Marek Svatos and Ryan Smyth scored 18 seconds apart midway through the third to make it 6-1 and chase goalie Evgeni Nabokov.
The Sharks played from behind most of the game in part because of four penalties in the first period, two whistled simultaneously. Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Jeremy Roenick were sent off with 5:05 left in the first period, and it took only 23 seconds for the Avalanche to cash in on the 5-on-3 advantage. Sakic fed Stastny down low, then one-timed the return pass to open the scoring.
Only 14 seconds after Joe Thornton drew a holding penalty, Sakic fed Hejduk, who made it 2-0 with a shot that beat Nabokov on the short side.
Avalanche goalie Peter Budaj
, who had 24 saves, came up big after Hejduk drew a double minor for high-sticking 1:12 into the game. The Sharks had five shots during the four-minute power play, including a point-blank chance by Roenick, but failed to score.Notes:
Avalanche D Scott Hannan
faced his former team for the first time since signing with Colorado in the offseason. Hannan played eight seasons for the Sharks. ... Roenick is three goals shy of 500 in the NHL. ... Sakic's goal moved him out of a tie for 14th place with Bobby Hull on the career list.
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