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It's now 13 victories in 16 games for Avalanche

3/3/2003

CHICAGO (AP) -- The Colorado Avalanche are still finding ways to
win.

Alex Tanguay scored 3:38 into overtime as the Avalanche defeated
the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 Sunday night for their 13th victory in
16 games.

Greg de Vries and Peter Forsberg assisted on the game-winning
goal. After a pass from Forsberg, de Vries skated into the slot and
fed Tanguay in the far circle. The left-handed Tanguay faked goalie
Jocelyn Thibault, skated across the crease and scored a backhanded
shot into an empty net.

''It was a nice play, three-on-two, and Peter made a pass to de
Vries,'' Tanguay said. ''Both Ds kind of went to him and he just
passed it over. The goalie was sliding across as he passed it and I
just went back the other way.

''There are a lot of things going right for us,'' Tanguay said.
''We expect to win every hockey game.''

Alex Zhamnov scored two goals for Chicago, tying the score each
time.

Zhamnov's second made it 2-2 with three seconds left. Kyle
Calder picked up the rebound of Nathan Dempsey's slap shot and fed
Zhamnov at the top of the crease for the goal.

Zhamnov's short-handed goal at 7:29 of the second made it 1-1.
Steve Sullivan picked up a loose puck at the half-boards and fed
Zhamnov in the high slot for a one-timer.

After taking criticism earlier in the season for always looking
to pass, the Blackhawks' captain has started to shoot more and has
three goals in two games. Chicago has earned points in its past two
games after losing five consecutive in regulation.

''I will continue to shoot the puck more,'' Zhamnov said.
''Especially on the power play and at the half-boards.''

Chicago has dropped seven in a row and has just one victory in
11 games (1-9-0-1).

''That's probably right now the best team in the league,''
Zhamnov said of Colorado. ''I think we played great.''

Joe Sakic scored at 15:07 of the third period to give the
Avalanche a 2-1 lead. De Vries carried the puck across the blue
line and fed Sakic in the far circle. The Colorado captain's shot
banked off Chicago defenseman Lyle Odelein and slid inside the near
post.

''It hit Odie and then the inside of the post,'' Thibault said.
''It was going about three feet wide.''

David Aebischer stopped 39 shots, and Milan Hejduk scored a
first-period, power-play goal for Colorado. Aebischer, Patrick
Roy's backup, is 4-1 in his last five starts and 7-9 this season.

Thibault made 26 saves and faced only two shots in the second
period.

Hejduk scored his 39th goal during a power play at 16:34 of the
first period. Thibault stopped Hejduk's hard shot from the far
circle, but the right wing gathered his rebound and scored from
eight feet.

Colorado has scored 31 power-play goals in its last 31 games,
climbing to seventh overall after being ranked 23rd on Dec. 6.

''For a while there it was just Alex, Peter and Milan,''
Colorado coach Tony Granato said. ''Now that Joe is back we have
another weapon to use.''

Chicago failed to score on six power-play chances. The
Blackhawks' power-play unit is last in the league with 29 goals in
258 opportunities.

Despite its recent struggles, Chicago remains five points behind
Edmonton and the eighth playoff spot in the West.

''Were not done yet,'' Zhamnov said. ''Lots of hockey left. We
still have a chance, a good chance.''

Game notes
Chicago left wing Eric Daze missed his third consecutive game due to
an ankle infection. ... Hejduk is two goals shy of matching a
career high (41). ... Colorado scored a power-play goal in nine
consecutive games. ... Colorado has scored the first goal in 18 of 21
games. ... The Blackhawks are one of three teams (New Jersey and
Phoenix) without a 20-goal scorer. ... Zhamnov's first goal was
Chicago's first at home since Daze's second-period goal against
Phoenix on Feb. 20, a span of 175 minutes. ... Colorado has allowed
six short-handed goals.