Avalanche beat Ana­heim, keep play­off hopes alive

The China Post - - SPORTS -

Colorado kept its NHL play­off hopes math­e­mat­i­cally alive with a 4-2 win at league-lead­ing Ana­heim on Fri­day, with Matt Duch­ene scor­ing the go-ahead goal on a break­away mid­way through the third pe­riod.

With four games to play, the Avalanche is six points off the last play­off spot in the West­ern Con­fer­ence, and moved level with Dal­las, which was beaten at home by St. Louis in an ex­tra­or­di­nary game that saw four goals scored in the space of just 49 sec­onds.

Else­where, out- of- con­tention New Jer­sey won its first game in seven by de­feat­ing Mon­treal in a shootout, pre­vent­ing the Cana­di­ens from go­ing back to the top of the Eastern Con­fer­ence.

Colorado’s Duch­ene pulled in the puck af­ter Corey Perry could not con­trol it in the Avalanche zone and rock­eted down the ice. Barely a step ahead of Sami Vata­nen, Duch­ene beat John Gibson un­der the goal­tender’s left leg for his 21st of the sea­son.

The Avalanche’s play­off hopes are slim, but its fi­nal game is against Los An­ge­les; a ri­val for that eighth spot.

St. Louis scored four goals in the third pe­riod to over­run Dal­las 7-5 and move into a tie with Nashville atop the Cen­tral Di­vi­sion.

Alex Pi­etrangelo scored the goa­head goal on a power play mid­way through the third.

The four goals in 49 sec­onds was a league record. It be­gan when Dal­las’ Travis Moen scored on a penalty shot at 19:49 of the first pe­riod. Dur­ing the first 38 sec­onds of the sec­ond, St. Louis’ Pa­trik Ber­glund and Jaden Schwartz and Dal­las’ Jamie Benn all scored.

Benn had two scores as the Stars ral­lied for four sec­ond­pe­riod goals to turn a 3-1 deficit into a 5-3 lead.

Ber­glund also scored twice for the Blues.

New Jer­sey’s Ja­cob Josef­son and Pa­trik Elias scored in the shootout to give the Devils a 3-2 victory over Mon­treal.

Ste­fan Mat­teau and Reid Boucher, who were called up from the mi­nors last month for the out-of-con­tention Devils, both scored in reg­u­la­tion.

To­mas Plekanec and de­fense­man Jeff Petry scored for the Cana­di­ens, who edged two points ahead of Tampa Bay in the fight for the At­lantic Di­vi­sion ti­tle with three games to play.

Chicago’s Jonathan Toews scored twice 47 sec­onds apart in the fi­nal two min­utes to rally the Black­hawks to a 4-3 win at last­placed Buf­falo.

San Jose moved within three points of the fi­nal wild- card spot in the West by win­ning 3-1 against Ari­zona af­ter Lo­gan Cou­ture and Joe Pavel­ski both scored in the open­ing five min­utes.

AP

Colorado Avalanche’s Matt Duch­ene, mid­dle, is con­grat­u­lated by team­mates Cody McLeod #55, Nick Holden, left, and Tyson Bar­rie af­ter scor­ing dur­ing the third pe­riod of an NHL hockey game against the Ana­heim Ducks in Ana­heim, Cal­i­for­nia on Fri­day, April 3.

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