Work in Sports
PHOENIX (Ticker) -- The "whiteout" proved no match for an Avalanche.
Adam Deadmarsh had two goals and two assists as the Colorado Avalanche took a commanding three games to none lead in their Western Conference quarterfinal series with a 4-2 triumph over the Phoenix Coyotes.
Deadmarsh set up a pair of goals in the second period before he was credited with the go-ahead tally with 13:14 left in the third. Peter Forsberg threw the puck at the net from the right faceoff circle and it caromed off Deadmarsh's skate and between goaltender Sean Burke's pads to snap a 2-2 tie.
"I don't know what happened, it just went in the net," said Deadmarsh, who came within one point of tying the franchise playoff record. "I slipped it through."
After a frenetic series of end-to-end rushes, Deadmarsh scored into an empty net with 24 seconds remaining to put Colorado within one win of the conference semifinals.
With fans clad in white to re-create a "whiteout" experience at America West Arena, Phoenix finally kept the Avalanche off the scoreboard in the first period. The Coyotes had been outscored, 6-1, in the opening period in a pair of road losses to start the series.
Keith Tkachuk's power-play deflection 49 seconds into the second gave Phoenix its first lead of the series. But Deadmarsh picked up assists on goals by Shjon Podein and Joe Sakic to put Colorado in front.
Phoenix, which has not won a playoff series since 1987, will try to avoid the sweep on Wednesday.
"This was the night we needed to do something," said Coyotes center Jeremy Roenick. "We needed to win here, we played a great game, but keep in mind they are a great team. ... We are not done yet, we're ready to come back."
Tkachuk got his first goal of the series after Avalanche center Stephane Yelle was penalized for holding in the final minute of the first period. Jyrki Lumme fired a one-timer from the blue line and Tkachuk tipped it inside the right goalpost.
The lead did not last nine minutes, however, as Chris Drury gloved down Deadmarsh's cross-ice pass in the left circle and fed the puck back to Podein. After scoring 11 goals during the season, Podein got his third of the series by beating Burke with a one-timer.
Sakic's first of the series put the Avalanche ahead at 14:48. With Phoenix rookie Trevor Letowski in the penalty box for hooking, Sakic jammed in a rebound after teammate Sandis Ozolinsh kicked the puck into the crease.
Roenick energized the crowd and lifted the Coyotes into a 2-2 tie on the power play at 6:17 of the third period. He intercepted defenseman Aaron Miller's clearing attempt, moved to the left circle and put a wrister off goalie Patrick Roy's pad and into the net for his first of the series.
But the excitement proved short-lived as Deadmarsh broke the deadlock 29 seconds later.
"We played well in all three zones and the special teams played well. Unfortunately, two broken plays ended up in our net," Coyotes coach Bobby Francis said. "The power-play goal, we came back fired up and Deadmarsh penetrates the net and the puck goes in off his skate."
"We came out a little flat in the third and they were throwing everything they had at us. They got that second one," Podein said. "I thought it was a big character test to get that third one and get the crowd out of the game."
With just over eight minutes left, Colorado's Ray Bourque hit the crossbar on a 2-on-1. Moments later, Forsberg shot off the right post on another 2-on-1. Phoenix counterattacked, but Roy stoned Dallas Drake from point-blank range.
At the other end, Forsberg was stopped by Burke on a 3-on-1 with 7:10 to play.
Roy made 23 saves and extended his NHL record with his 113th career playoff win. Burke stopped 22 shots but has lost 10 of his last 11 postseason decisions.
"We are playing some good hockey right now. To us, the playoffs came at the right time," said Roy, whose team has won 11 straight games dating to the regular season. "We showed what we can do and what we are made of when they kept on coming back, and we battled and fought them off."