Theodore's 28 saves lifts Colorado Avalanche over Philadelphia Flyers, 2-1

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DENVER - Jose Theodore made 28 saves and Milan Hejduk scored a power-play goal with 2.7 seconds left in the second period to lead the Colorado Avalanche to a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday night.

Hejduk broke a 1-all tie with his 99th career power-play goal just before the second-period horn. With Kimmo Timonen off for hooking at 19:40, Ryan Smyth sent a backhand pass through the legs of Paul Stastny to Hejduk, who one-timed a shot over Martin Biron's right shoulder.

Biron had 30 saves and Daniel Briere scored for the Flyers.

Biron kept the game close with some big saves early in the fourth. He stopped Wojtek Wolski's attempt while laying on his back, and he made a sliding save on Marek Svatos moments before Wolski's chance.

Hilinka gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead with his fourth goal of the season at the 6:26 mark of the second period. Hilinka skated into the Flyers zone, and his shot from the right faceoff circle beat Biron just under the crossbar.

The Flyers tied it during a swarming power play late in the second period. Philadelphia had several chances with Brett Clark in the penalty box and finally got the equalizer when Briere beat Theodore high with 3:05 left in the frame.

Before Hilinka's goal, the Avalanche's best opportunity to break the scoreless tie came when Flyers centre Jim Dowd took a hooking penalty early in the second period. Colorado had a two-man advantage for 29 seconds but couldn't get a shot on goal.

After Philadelphia killed off the first penalty, Mike Richards stole a Clark pass in the neutral zone and had a breakaway. He tried to put the puck between Theodore's legs, but the goalie made the save.

With Scott Hannan in the penalty box for holding, Hejduk's delay of game penalty gave the Flyers a 5-on-3 advantage for 37 seconds. The Avalanche killed off both penalties to keep the game 1-0.

Neither goalie was challenged much in the first period. The Avalanche outshot the Flyers 13-7, but its best chance to score came when the puck took a strange bounce off the side boards and ricocheted in front of an empty net. The Flyers cleared the puck before a Colorado player could shoot.

Notes: Avalanche C Joe Sakic missed his fourth straight game with a groin injury. ... Friday's game was the first time the Flyers have played in Denver since the 2003-04 season. Philadelphia forward Sami Kapanen is the only player remaining from that team.


Mat Barzal

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