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Archive for Tuesday, October 31, 2000

NHL ROUNDUP

Coyotes hand Avalanche first loss

October 31, 2000

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Phoenix goalie Burke makes 45 saves for 23rd career shutout, a 4-0 win

Denver In the spirit of election season, Phoenix forward Jeremy Roenick campaigned for teammate Sean Burke.

"If he's not player of the month for October, then they should totally end player of the month awards because he has been phenomenal," Roenick said. "He's the reason why we're in this situation."

The endorsement was well-deserved after Burke made 45 saves for his 23rd career shutout as the Coyotes handed the Colorado Avalanche their first loss of the season, 4-0 Monday night.

Roenick added a goal and an assist for the Coyotes, who ran their unbeaten streak to nine games (7-0-2). Colorado (9-1-2), off to the best start in franchise history, had won nine straight.

"We don't talk about streaks," Avalanche coach Bob Hartley said. "If you get rewarded, you turn the page and move on to the next game. If you lose, you turn the page and move on."

The battle of the NHL's two hottest teams turned into a landslide as Phoenix scored four goals on just 16 shots.

Burke (7-1-1), who has faced at least 30 shots in six of his nine starts, did the rest. He gave Colorado few second chances and became the first goalie to blank the Avs since Buffalo's Dominik Hasek on Feb. 8, a span of 38 games.

"He's been unbelievable for us all year," Phoenix captain Keith Tkachuk said. "For him to come out and make those big saves, he's our best player right now. To get to that next level, you need great goaltending and we're getting more than that."

Behind goals from Roenick and Mika Alatalo, the Coyotes took a 2-0 lead into the third and put the game out of reach when Travis Green and Landon Wilson each scored in the final eight minutes.

Patrick Roy, who lost for the first time in 10 games, had allowed just 14 goals entering the night but managed only 12 saves. His goals-against average jumped from 1.51 to 1.76.

"I thought overall our defense played pretty good and when we did make a mistake it was in our net," Colorado defenseman Adam Foote said. "When we had the roll, we had some luck. Tonight there was no luck there."

Despite being outshot 29-8 in the first 40 minutes, the Coyotes took a two-goal lead when Roenick dashed past two defenders and beat Roy to the glove side at 16:27 of the second.

Earlier in the period, Burke single-handedly stymied the Avalanche, stopping three tough shots in a 20-second span. The best save came when he dove to his right and used his stick to deny Joe Sakic just outside the crease.

"The key is to get them a little frustrated and I think we did that," Burke said. "I feel if they are going to beat me, beat me with a good shot. I was square and they just weren't making the shots."

The Avalanche, who eliminated Phoenix in the first round of last year's playoffs, outshot the Coyotes 14-5 in the opening period but trailed 1-0.

Roenick set up Phoenix's goal when he stole the puck from Foote in the Colorado zone and hit Tkachuk for a two-man break. Tkachuk flipped a short pass to Alatalo, who beat Roy over the left shoulder at 1:04.

Devils 6, Panthers 5, OT

East Rutherford, N.J. Bobby Holik scored with 3:05 left in overtime as New Jersey beat Florida in a game that featured seven goals on the first 10 shots. Patrik Elias and Scott Gomez scored two goals apiece and Sergei Brylin added another as the Devils extended their unbeaten streak to five games (4-0-1). Bret Hedican and Olli Jokinen scored twice and Igor Larionov once for Florida.

Oilers 5, Mighty Ducks 3

Edmonton, Alberta Tom Poti and Bill Guerin scored in a one-minute span in the third period as Edmonton beat Anaheim and ended a five-game winless skid. Guerin finished with two goals, and Janne Niinimaa and Chad Kilger added goals for the Oilers, who had lost three straight and had been 0-4-1 in their past five outings.

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