Panthers Scratch By Avalanche

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Rob Niedermayer scored, but didn't take much credit for his game-winner.

The goal, with 15.7 seconds left, helped give the Florida Panthers their fourth straight win, 2-1, over the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night.

"Scott Mellanby and Radek Dvorak did all the work down low," said Niedermayer, who scored his second game-winner in a week. "I was just coming on a line change, Mellanby flung a good pass to me and I found the net."

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  • Dvorak added a goal and Mellanby set up Niedermayer with his second assist of the game. Trevor Kidd had 34 saves for the Panthers, who hadn't won a game in Colorado since Oct. 17, 1996.

    Mellanby outskated two Avalanche players to the puck in the final minute and fed Niedermayer, who beat Roy to his glove side from the left circle. The Panthers nearly scored in the final minutes, but Todd Simpson hit the right post with 2:36 left.

    "Niedermayer made a heads up play," Florida coach Terry Murray said. "It was a play you just try to get the puck down deep and try to get the puck back out to the point."

    Stephane Yelle scored for Colorado, which played without Joe Sakic for the fourth straight game. Patrick Roy stopped 25 shots as the Avalanche lost for the second time in the Pepsi Center.

    "We deserved a better fate than to lose with 15 econds left," Colorado coach Bob Hartley said. "They made one play at the end, but it sad that we worked so hard to get absolutely nothing."

    The game remained scoreless until 11:59 of the first period when Yelle sent a faceoff back to Adam Foote at the right point and poked the rebound in after Kidd stopped Foote's shot.

    Dvorak tied it at 17:45 when he took a pass from Bret Hedican and made a quick move across the front of the crease. Using a screen from Avalanche defenseman Greg de Vries, Dvorak tipped the puck past Roy.

    "I was able to contribute goals," said Mellanby, whose forcheck allowed Hedican to get to a loose puck. "I didn't have many chances, but the team did and it felt good to contribute something offensively."

    Roy kept the game tied through the second period with glove saves on Mellanby and Paul Laus.

    "We should have wins in the last two games," Colorado defenseman Adam Foote said. "I haven't seen us play as well in our end in four years, but a couple of mistakes have burned us."

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