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Forsberg, Sakic don't play for Avs

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Finally beating the Avalanche at home was a
huge relief for the St. Louis Blues, even if Colorado was missing
two of its biggest stars.

Pavol Demitra had two goals and an assist and Scott Mellanby
scored the go-ahead goal when the puck popped up in the air and
dropped over Patrick Roy's outstretched glove in the Blues' 3-2
victory Thursday night.

Colorado was without Peter Forsberg, who had the flu and didn't
make the trip, and Joe Sakic, who missed his sixth straight game
with a sprained right ankle. The Avalanche had beaten the Blues
five straight times in the Savvis Center.

"I think it's big anytime you beat a team like Colorado,"
goalie Brent Johnson said. "Even with Forsberg and Sakic out they
had a great lineup. Our defense buckled down."

New Avalanche coach Tony Granato lost for the first time in four
games. Colorado, which got a goal and an assist from Milan Hejduk,
had outscored the opposition 11-6 Granato's first three games --
victories over the Oilers, Wild and Canucks.

"Their big guys scored the goals when they had to, but our
effort was very, very solid," Granato said. "We threw everything
we could at them."

Demitra's second-period assist was his 400th career point and
Mellanby also had an assist for the Blues. Neither team had many
scoring chances, with the Avalanche holding a 20-15 edge in shots.

Mellanby, who had 15 goals last season, got his 13th at 12:17 of
the second period to put the Blues ahead 2-1. His rebound shot
deflected off the stick of a defenseman in front of the net and the
puck popped straight in the air and landed near the goal line
before trickling across.

"They all count," Mellanby said. "You don't get too many
bounces like that."

Roy said he never saw the puck.

"I don't even know where it bounced and how it went in and all
that," Roy said. "I thought it was tough luck."

Demitra got his 12th on a 2-on-1 break for a 3-1 lead at 12:05
of the third, beating Roy with a high backhand shot. Keith Tkachuk
set up the play when he pushed the puck to Demitra out of a tight
pack of players near center ice.

Alex Tanguay cut the deficit to a goal with 26.9 seconds to
play, just after a holding call to Dallas Drake had expired.

Hejduk has five goals and six assists during a nine-game scoring
streak, and he got his 15th during a power play for the game's
first goal at 13:39 of the first period. Hejduk beat Brent Johnson
with a shot to the far post from the left circle.

Demitra tied it at 4:11 of the second, also on a power play,
with his 11th goal. Demitra had an easy tap-in from the side of the
net off a pass from Mellanby during a 5-on-3 advantage.

Game notes

Slumping F Eric Boguniecki was a healthy scratch for the
Blues. Boguniecki had 10 goals in his first 17 games and has one
goal in the last 16. ... Hejduk has eight goals on the power play,
including seven of his last 11 goals overall. ... Ten of the Blues'
last 15 goals have come on the power play. ... The season series
between the Blues and the Avalanche is 1-1-1 with one game
remaining.