Series (Game 3 of 4)

Colorado leads 4-0

Game 1: Wednesday, November 16th
Game 2: Monday, December 26th
Game 3: Saturday, December 31st
Game 4: Tuesday, April 11th

Avalanche 5

(20-17-3, 43 pts)

Coyotes 2

(20-18-2, 42 pts)

8:00 PM ET, December 31, 2005 Arena, Glendale, Arizona

1 2 3 T
COL 1 1 35
ARI 0 1 12

I. Laperriere (Avalanche - C): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

P. Budaj (Avalanche - G): Saves: 30, Save Pct.: .938

M. Johnson (Coyotes - RW): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

Colorado (19-17-3) at Phoenix (20-17-2) 8:00 pm EST

Colorado (19-17-3) at Phoenix (20-17-2) 8:00 pm EST

GLENDALE, Arizona (Ticker) -- Joe Sakic's next goal will move him alongside one of the smoothest players in NHL history.

Sakic can tie Hall of Famer Guy Lafleur for 18th place on the all-time list with his 560th goal Saturday when the Colorado Avalanche visit the Phoenix Coyotes.

A 12-time All-Star, Sakic is in his 17th season with the Avalanche franchise and has two 50-goal seasons, including a career-best 54 in 2001-2002. A three-time member of Canada's Olympic Hockey Team, he has points in six of his last seven contests.

Sakic and Alex Tanguay scored for the Avalanche, who lost for the fifth time in six road games in Friday's 5-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks.

Although they have allowed 16 goals in their last three games, the Coyotes have won two straight since coach Wayne Gretzky returned following the death of his mother, Phyllis.

Keith Ballard scored his second goal of the game while shorthanded in overtime and Ladislav Nagy added a goal and three assists to lead Phoenix in Thursday's 6-5 triumph over the Los Angeles Kings.

Colorado has won both encounters against Phoenix this season, including Monday's 7-4 victory. Sakic had two goals and an assist as the Avalanche rallied from a three-goal deficit.