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Boston Ties Up Avalanche

It didn't take Colorado goaltender Marc Denis long to show why he made it to the NHL this season.

In his first start, Denis stopped 44 shots and Milan Hejduk added two goals to help the Avalanche earn a 3-3 tie with the Boston Bruins Monday afternoon.

After spending most of the past two seasons with Hershey of the AHL, the former Canadian Junior Gold Medalist earned a spot with the parent club this preseason.

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  • "You've got to get into a groove," Denis said of his stellar effort. "That's the only way for a goaltender to survive in this league."

    Hejduk scored his second goal of the game with 8:04 left in regulation as Colorado finished its season-opening five-game road trip 1-2-2. The Avalanche play their inaugural game in the Pepsi Center Wednesday, completing a home-and-home with the Bruins.

    "We were a little tired when we got here with the last game of a road trip," said center Chris Drury, who scored Colorado's other goal. "Denis was well rested and he pulled out the tie for us. You're never happy with a tie, but I think when we look back 44 saves. We were lucky to get it. He was unbelievable."

    Boston (0-3-2) avoided matching its worst start in 34 years. The Bruins last opened a season winless after five games in 1965-66, but were 0-4-1.

    "The last two games we tied, but we outplayed them," Boston's Jason Allison said. "Hopefully, it happens the other way. They all even out at the end."

    Rob DiMaio, Steve Heinze and Dave Andreychuk scored for Boston.

    Colorado's Joe Sakic was whistled for hooking with 14 seconds left in regulation and the Bruins played most of the opening two minutes of overtime in the Avalanche's zone. But Denis made four good stops, his best a diving glove save of Allison's backhander from the edge of the crease.

    Rookie John Grahame, who has earned the bulk of the playing time with Boston goalie Byron Dafoe in a contract dispute, made 26 saves in his second consecutive start for Boston. He had been rotating with Rob Tallas through the first four games.

    "I thought he played well," Boston coach Pat Burns said of Grahame. "I thought he played well Saturday night, too. I know (Tallas) wants to play. My job is to win games. I made the decision and I'm going to tell you again now (Grahame's) going to play again Wednesday."

    Hejduk's second goal came on a power play from a scramble in front.

    Heinze and Andreychuk scored 4:51 apart early in the third period to give Boston a 3-2 lead. Heinze scored when his shot got past Denis off the leg of defenseman Stephane Yelle. Andreychuk beat Denis from in close on a pass from Allison.

    Drury's power-play goal at 16:44 of the second period had given Colorado a 2-1 lead when he batted Sandis Ozolinsh's perfect cross-ice ice pass past Grahame from just outside the crease.

    The Avalanche grabbed a 1-0 lead on Hejduk's first goal 10:58 into the game before DiMaio tied it just 15 seconds later.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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