<
>

Osgood, MacInnis sit in season finale

4/6/2003

DENVER (AP) -- Milan Hejduk scored his 50th goal, and Peter Forsberg had a goal and two assists as the Colorado Avalanche beat the St. Louis Blues 5-2 on Sunday.

The Avalanche earned a point for the 17th straight home game (14-0-2-1), extending a team record, and won their ninth consecutive divisional crown, snapping a tie with the Montreal Canadiens, who had won eight consecutive divisional titles from 1974-75 through 1981-82.

Hejduk became the fourth player -- eighth overall -- in team history to reach 50 goals. He scored with 5:38 left in the game, knocking in a rebound after Forsberg kicked a pass to Alex Tanguay.

Hejduk kept Colorado's hopes for a ninth title alive Friday night against Anaheim with a goal with 10 seconds left in overtime of a 4-3 victory. He added two assists against the Blues, including one on Forsberg's empty-net goal with 55 seconds left.

St. Louis already had fifth place in the Western Conference locked up and rested several of its top players.

Goalie Chris Osgood, forwards Ryan Johnson, Scott Mellanby and
Shjon Podein, and defensemen Al MacInnis and Matt Walker didn't
play as the Blues prepare for the start of the playoffs on
Wednesday.

The hungry Avalanche took advantage early with 16 shots and
goals by Joe Sakic, Adam Foote and Derek Morris in the first
period.

St. Louis cut the lead to 3-1 with 8:17 left in the second
period when Eric Boguniecki beat Patrick Roy from between the
circles for his 22nd goal.

Rookie Eric Sejna made it 3-2 with 12 seconds left by lifting a
rebound over Roy on a power play in his first NHL game.

Sejna, the NCAA's leading scorer this season with nearby
Colorado College, signed with the Blues early Sunday.

Roy is unbeaten in 26 of his past 30 starts after stopping 25
shots. He has allowed two goals or fewer in 24 of those games.

St. Louis ended the season on a five-game winless streak
(0-3-2).

Sakic opened the scoring 8:19 in, ending a nine-game scoring
drought by lifting a rebound over goalie Brent Johnson's stick.

Foote added his 11th goal just 2:03 later on a power play,
scoring from near the blue line on a shot Johnson couldn't see
through traffic.

Morris made it 3-0 with 3:15 left, one-timing a pass from Peter
Forsberg over Johnson's right shoulder for his 11th goal.

Game notes
Colorado LW Bates Battaglia became the first Colorado
player to play 83 games in an 82-game season. He played 70 games
with Carolina before being traded to Colorado on March 11. ...
Sejna is a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, given to college
hockey's top player. He had 36 goals, including eight game-winners,
and 82 points with Colorado College this season. ... Colorado D
Martin Skoula sat out with a bruised shoulder. ... Colorado tied a
team record with 52 goals by its defenseman this season. The
Avalanche also did it in 1999-00.