DENVER (AP) -Milan Hejduk had two goals and an assist, and Peter Budaj - recovered from swine flu - stopped 28 shots in his first start of the season, leading the Colorado Avalanche to a 4-1 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday night.
Marek Svatos also scored, David Jones added an empty-netter, and Paul Stastny had three assists. The Avalanche snapped a two-game skid to remain on top of the Western Conference standings and tie Pittsburgh for the league lead with 24 points.
Colorado also improved to 5-0 at Pepsi Center, one win away from tying its best home start since moving to the Mile High City.
Budaj was brilliant in goal, allowing only Ed Jovanovski's power-play goal midway through the third period.
Trailing 2-1 with just over a minute remaining, the Coyotes pulled goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, leading to Jones' breakaway goal.
Just 19 seconds later, Hejduk scored his second of the night.
The 27-year-old Budaj was scheduled to make his first start Oct. 23 against Carolina, but was scratched due to flu-like symptoms. It turned out to be swine flu, causing Budaj to miss four games.
With Budaj back and healthy, Craig Anderson finally got a night off. Anderson made a franchise-record 15 straight starts to begin the season, breaking the mark that belonged to Mario Gosselin, who made nine straight starts to open the 1987-88 season.
Bryzgalov made 25 saves as the Coyotes dropped their second straight game. Bryzgalov has one of the top goals-against averages in the NHL, allowing less than two goals a game.
The Avalanche scored a power-play goal just 57 seconds into the game when Hejduk tipped in Kyle Quincey's slap shot from the blue line.
In the third period, Svatos jammed in a loose puck rolling close to Phoenix's goal.
Cody McLeod returned to the ice Wednesday after missing six games following an inadvertent stick to his left eye.
On doctor's orders, the forward wore a protective visor on his helmet. McLeod was hit above the eye in a game at Minnesota on Oct. 21.
The 25-year-old enforcer said it took about a week for the blurriness to clear from his eye.
McLeod got into a couple of skirmishes in the game, but no punches were thrown and things were quickly quieted down.
NOTES: Avalanche F Darcy Tucker has started skating again and is listed as day-to-day. He has been out since he sustained a concussion on a check from Carolina's Tuomo Ruutu on Oct. 23. "His head feels fine after a couple of days of workouts," Colorado coach Joe Sacco said. "I'm happy that his progress is probably farther ahead than I had anticipated. ... It will be nice to get him back." ... Jovanovski's power-play goal ended a string in which the Avalanche killed 25 straight penalties. ... The Coyotes are 5-3 on the road this season. Last year they didn't win their fifth road game until Dec. 10.