Selanne scored his first goal in 20 games with 5:09 left,
helping the Avalanche end a six-game winless streak with a 2-1
victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night.
"It was nice to see Teemu get a big goal," Avalanche coach
Tony Granato said. "That is what he is here for. That is a big
goal for us and a big point. It feels good to win."
Selanne and Paul Kariya were supposed to add to Colorado's
high-scoring offense after signing on the same day in the
offseason, but the Finnish Flash hadn't been holding up his end of
the bargain. He went 19 games without a point and was even benched
for two games.
Selanne ended the slump in dramatic fashion, one-timing Kariya's
crossing pass for his first point since scoring his 15th goal Feb.
14 against Detroit. The relief was evident in the huge smile that
came across his face as he was mobbed by teammates.
"Usually it doesn't matter who scores the winning goal as long
as we win," Selanne said. "But of course, when you have been
struggling like I have been, it's nice to get the confidence boost
like I can get from this and move on."
It couldn't have come at a better time for the Avalanche.
The longest winless streak since 2001-02 dropped Colorado just a
point ahead of Vancouver in the Northwest Division and in danger of
falling to fifth in the Western Conference after challenging for
the top spot just a month ago.
"It's nice to hear the cheers at the end," forward Matthew Barnaby said after Colorado's third win in 14 home games (3-6-4-1). "We haven't heard it in a while."
Cechmanek also made a stiff-legged kick save on Milan Hejduk and
got his blocker up for Riku Hahl's hard shot from the slot. He
stopped 16 shots in the second period.
"Roman was very good," Murray said. "It is difficult for me
to assess, I am a layman in terms of goaltending. It looks like he
is quieter with less movement."
The Kings had just five shots in the second period but took
Nathan Dempsey tied it at 1 during a power play with just over four minutes left, one-timing a shot into an empty net after Trent Klatt circled out of the corner and drew Colorado goalie David Aebischer from the crease.
"That's been the story of our year," Miller said. "We totally
outplayed Calgary the other night and lost on two fluke goals. Just
Aebischer stopped 19 shots.
Colorado D Ossi Vaananen played in his 300th NHL game. ... Los Angeles C Jozef Stumpel didn't play after sustaining an upper body injury Saturday against Calgary. ... Colorado D John-Michael Liles missed his third straight game with a bruised knee. ... Colorado is 7-3 against Los Angeles at the Pepsi Center.