Avalanche look to continue dominance of Panthers

Colorado (16-15-1) at Florida (14-13-4), 5:00 pm EST

SUNRISE, Florida (Ticker) — The Colorado Avalanche always seem
to enjoy their trip to the BankAtlantic Center.

The Avalanche will seek their 10th consecutive road win against
the Florida Panthers on Sunday.

The Panthers have never defeated the Avalanche at their current
rink and do not have a home win against the franchise since
posting a 4-2 victory over the Quebec Nordiques at Miami Arena
on April 22, 1995.

The following season, the team moved to Denver and Colorado
defeated Florida in the Stanley Cup Finals.

The Avalanche, who have not lost to the Panthers in nearly five
years, were the beneficiaries of a controversial call during
Thursday’s 2-1 shootout triumph over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Milan Hejduk scored the lone goal of the bonus format after his
backhand attempt was initially saved, but the referees promptly
conversed and awarded the goal after Lightning goaltender Mike
Smith let go of his stick to block the puck.

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“It was a heck of a hockey game,” Colorado coach Tony Granato
said. “For the refs to make that call, it’s a gutsy call, but
it’s the right call. If the goalie throws his stick in an
attempt to stop a penalty shot or shootout opportunity, it’s an
automatic goal.”

Florida is hoping to avoid a third straight loss. The Panthers
managed to pick up a point Thursday after Cory Stillman tied the
game at 2:29 of the third period, but they suffered a 2-1
overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.