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Struggling Avs Top Hurricanes


Peter Forsberg finally found the net -- and that was enough to give the Colorado Avalanche a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes Monday night.

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  • had taken, like, 35 shots (this season) before it went in, but I still don't think my shooting percentage moved much," joked Forsberg, who broke out of his goal-scoring drought by beating Arturs Irbe midway through the third period as part of his three-point night.

    "It's always good when it's an important goal, too," Forsberg added. "Goals are scarce nowadays and you've got to get a good shot off if you're going to beat the goalie."

    Irbe, the NHL player of the month for October after posting a 0.76 goals against average, allowed Colorado's first shot of the game to slip under his pads. And he couldn't stop Forsberg's blast from the slot over his left shoulder with 8:54 left.

    Forsberg, who has scored at least 25 goals in each of his last three seasons, had 10 assists but no goals in his first nine games this season on 32 shots. He also assisted on Colorado's other two goals as the Avalanche won their first road game of the season.

    "We could see this coming," Colorado coach Bob Hartley said of Forsberg's play. "His game has been getting stronger and stronger, and so is our team."

    Irbe had allowed one goal or less in six straight starts before giving up three against Colorado.

    "It's always very challenging to come up against a goalie that you know has been very hot," Hartley said of Irbe. "We did lots of video on him before the game."

    The Avalanche, who started the season 0-4, are now 3-2-1 in their last six games. Colorado has spli their first two games of a six-game, 11-day road trip -- the club's longest in eight years.

    It didn't take Colorado long to solve Irbe, with Claude Lemieux blasting a shot between the goalie's legs 1:19 into the game. Forsberg assisted on the goal to run his point streak to seven straight games.

    "The first goal was big for us," said Forsberg. "We said we had to get to him early. We knew we had a top opponent to go against. We didn't shoot a whole lot, but we had good shots and some rebounds, too."

    Carolina had gone six straight games without allowing a first-period goal before Lemieux scored the 302nd goal of his career.

    Kevin Dineen, the former Carolina captain, scored his first goal of the year three minutes later from the right circle after a nice pass from Kent Manderville to tie the score.

    With Colorado leading 2-1, Forsberg's perfect feed on a two-on-one to Rene Corbet netted the final Avalanche goal with 4:04 left.

    "Their big guys just got it done when they needed to, and that's why Forsberg is the player he is," said Carolina coach Paul Maurice.

    Nelson Emerson scored less than two minutes later to close the gap to one for Carolina, but Colorado closed out the Hurricanes down the stretch behind Craig Billington, who started in goal in place of the struggling Patrick Roy, who is off to a 1-5-1 start with a 3.84 GAA.

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