Work in Sports
DENVER (Ticker) -- Defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh scored twice during a four-goal first period and Shjon Podein added two more as the Colorado Avalanche won the opener of their Western Conference quarterfinals series, 6-3 over the Phoenix Coyotes.
Patrick Roy needed to make just 12 saves for Colorado, which will attempt to take a two games to none lead in the series here on Saturday.
Podein started the barrage with nearly 4 1/2 minutes gone in the game when he banged in his own rebound past goaltender Sean Burke after his initial wraparound attempt from behind the net was stopped.
"For us, to start the first period with that, it was very positive," Avalanche forward Dave Reid said. "The playoffs are so tight-checking and everyone rushes to the net for rebounds. Shjon had a great second effort."
Dave Andreychuk, who was acquired from Boston with Ray Bourque, doubled the lead on the power play just under four minutes later when he finished off a give-and-go with Chris Drury.
Ozolinsh gave Colorado a three-goal bulge with a power-play goal at 14:08 when he swept in a deflected shot from teammate Joe Sakic for his first goal since February 22. He capped the onslaught with a blast from the top of the left faceoff circle just over four minutes later.
"Things seemed to snowball in the first period," Phoenix's Travis Green said. "We just gave up too many shots. We are a proud team and we will not lay over."
Ozolinsh also assisted on Andreychuk's tally for his first three-point game since doing it at Calgary on November 30.
"He's (Ozolinsh) such a great backchecker from the back side," Bourque said. "We caught a couple of good breaks tonight. We don't want to go too long without Peter (Forsberg). We have a lot of good, quality players who could put the puck in the net. It will get much tougher from here."
Forsberg is sidelined indefinitely after suffering a separated right shoulder in Friday's victory at Calgary. He also missed 33 games during the regular season following surgery on his other shoulder and a concussion.
Shane Doan had a goal and two assists as the Coyotes cut the deficit to two goals twice before Podein capped the scoring with a long slapper from the left side that went through Burke's pads.
"I think we wanted to come out working hard and with a lot of energy," Podein said. "We did that tonight. To win in the playoffs, everyone has to chip in. We have to come in for Game Two like we did today."
Burke, who has just one win in his last eight playoff games, stopped 32 shots. He has not won a playoff series in 12 years and has played in only two since.
"I felt I was mentally ready to play, I just did not play well," Burke said. "Obviously, we were down 4-0 and it's difficult to come back. That was my fault and yet we came back. Podein's (second) goal was just a bad goal, it was just my fault."
The Coyotes have dropped four straight playoff games dating back to last season and have not won a series since 1987, losing eight straight since the Winnipeg Jets defeated the Calgary Flames in the Smythe Division semifinals.