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Joe Sakic has scored 151 points since he last faced the Tampa Bay Lightning. One point in his last game was particularly noteworthy.
After moving into 10th on the NHL's career points list, Sakic leads the Colorado Avalanche against the Lightning on Friday in the teams' first meeting in nearly three years.
With the second of his three assists in a 5-3 win over Nashville on Monday, Sakic moved past Hall of Famer Paul Coffey on the all-time points list with 1,533. Sakic, though, downplayed the milestone and focused on the Avalanche (19-18-2) ending their three-game losing streak.
"It is obviously a lot more fun when you're on the winning end," Sakic said. "It is a special feeling, but the most important thing is winning the game. We had lost three in a row, so to get the win and get out of the loss column was good for us confidence wise.
"I guess at the end of your career you look back at those things, but right now I'm just concerned with winning."
The Colorado captain leads the team with 17 goals and 27 assists.
The Avalanche franchise has gone 9-1-0 with two ties against Tampa Bay (19-20-2) when Sakic scores a goal. The 37-year-old center has 13 goals and 18 assists in 22 games against the Lightning.
Colorado, however, hasn't faced Tampa Bay since the 2003-04 season, when the teams split two games.
After scoring the first and last goals of the game against the Predators, Colorado's Wotjek Wolski was named rookie of the month for December on Tuesday. Wolski had five goals and six assists in 13 games last month.
Wolski also is third among rookies with 14 goals, and tied with teammate Paul Stastny for third with 29 points.
Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier each had a goal and an assist for Tampa Bay, which ended Minnesota's eight-game home winning streak with a 3-2 victory on Thursday. The Lightning had lost three of their previous four after a three-game winning streak.
"We've been down this road before where we get a big win, but we've got to follow it up with another one, and another one, and another one," said Tampa Bay defenseman Dan Boyle, who also scored.
The Lightning are just 6-10-1 in their last 17 games to fall into 13th place in the Eastern Conference, but also are just four points behind Toronto for the eighth and final playoff spot.
Lecavalier ended a four-game scoring drought, his longest since a six-game skid from Nov. 15-26. His 22 goals this season are second on the team behind St. Louis' 26.
"It'd be nice to get on a run here," St. Louis said. "We just can't fall in love with ourselves after a big game. We just have to keep playing hard."
Lightning defenseman Filip Kuba's three-game goal streak ended, but he is just two goals shy of his career high, set when he scored nine for Minnesota in 2000-01.
|Jan 05 '07||TBL 2 at COL 4||T. Arnason|