Tkachuk Leads Coyotes Past Avs


Two years ago, the Colorado Avalanche stood atop the hockey world the Stanley Cup champions.

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  • opening the season a franchise-worst 0-4-1, the Avalanche beat Edmonton before falling to the Phoenix Coyotes 5-1 Monday night. So far this season, Colorado has allowed a league-worst 29 goals and has been shut out twice in five home contests.

    "We were just a disgrace out there," Colorado forward Keith Jones said.

    Colorado was 1-for-7 on the power play, but avoided being shut out when Jones scored at 16:39 of the third period. The Avalanche also had two goals disallowed.

    "The two disallowed goals took the energy that we had," Colorado coach Bob Hartley. "When they took a 3-0 lead, we missed a couple of power plays where we didn't execute very well."

    Keith Tkachuk, a 50-goal scorer in two of his past three seasons who is known for his scoring streaks, got two goals and an assist Monday night as the Coyotes beat Colorado for the second time this season.

    "You know how he gets on those rolls. Sometimes they last a few months." Phoenix coach Jim Schoenfeld said. "So I hope he's started one. When he scores, it lifts the whole team."

    Cliff Ronning and Rick Tocchet added a goal and an assist each for the Coyotes, who won for the first time in Denver since March 27, 1996. Jeremy Roenick had a goal for the Coyotes, who hadn't won two straight against Colorado since 1991 when the teams were n Winnipeg and Quebec.

    "I felt a lot better. I got the legs going and finished some opportunities," Tkachuk said. "I don't know about starting a streak because I feel I just go with it when you can. When things are going well, you have to keep going, knowing there will be low times."

    There were no low times Monday for Tkachuk or Jimmy Waite, who made 19 saves in his first start of the year. He benefited when the Avalanche had two goals disallowed because of crease violations.

    "I don't know how many starts I am going to get this year and I want to be solid every time out," said Waite, who gave No. 1 goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin the night off. "Nikolai is a great goalie and when I play well, it can only push him to play better."

    Patrick Roy, 18-2-2 lifetime against the Phoenix/Winnipeg franchise and 6-0-1 with two shutouts in his previous starts against Phoenix, stopped 22 of 27 shots.

    Phoenix dominated play throughout the first period and led 2-0. Tkachuk stepped out of the penalty box, took a pass from Dallas Drake and sent a slap shot past Roy's stick from the left circle at 4:07.

    Roenick beat Roy between the pads from the top of the left circle at 9:44 with the Coyotes on the power play. Colorado had an apparent goal disallowed with Rene Corbet in the crease, and Peter Forsberg whiffed on an open net as Colorado was denied its best scoring chances of the period.

    The Coyotes built their lead to 4-0 in the second period on goals by Ronning and Tocchet. Ronning scored a power play goal with a low drive from the slot at 7:29.

    Tocchet caught the Colorado defense napping with 31 seconds left in the period. Roy stopped Ronning's shot from the right point and Tocchet sent in his own rebound.

    Claude Lemieux had a goal disallowed when Warren Rychel was detected in the crease at 3:15 of the third period. Tkachuk would not be denied at 5:49 of the period, converting a cross-ice pass from Drake for his second goal of the night.

    "Each and every one of us has to look in the mirror," Colorado left winger Eric Lacroix said. "You win as a team and you lose as a team. It's not one guy's fault or one guy's success. It is everybody."

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